Date Published: 

Tue, 06/12/2016


An outbreak of norovirus is affecting hospitals and other health care settings in Bath and North East Somerset. In partnership with local health providers, Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (BaNES CCG) is urging people who are currently experiencing symptoms of norovirus to stay at home.

Norovirus is characterised by forceful vomiting and watery diarrhoea. Some people also experience a raised temperature, headaches, painful stomach cramps, and/or aching limbs. Symptoms usually appear one to two days after a person becomes infected but they can start sooner. Most healthy people will make a full recovery within a couple of days.

It is vital that people who may have norovirus do not visit hospitals, care homes or their GP surgery. If you have had norovirus, you should ensure that you have been free of symptoms for a full 48 hours before visiting a friend or relative in hospital or attending an outpatient appointment.

An outbreak of norovirus can have a real impact on hospitals and other care settings. Containing the virus is vitally important to stop it spreading. It is especially important that people with norovirus refrain from visiting a hospital or care home. Visiting a loved one whilst infectious could put them at risk of catching the virus, and could have serious consequences – for them and for other patients or residents.

Dawn Clarke, Director of Nursing and Quality at BaNES CCG said:

“Norovirus is very unpleasant but usually resolves itself in 24 to 48 hours. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to prevent infections occurring in the community. Taking precautions like washing hands thoroughly after contact with potentially contaminated surfaces or with someone who has the infection will help to reduce the spread of norovirus.

“There is no specific cure for the illness and, as it is viral and not caused by an infection, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Therefore, people with the illness are advised not to visit their GP but to stay home, to get lots of rest and to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

“If you are worried about your symptoms then you should call 111 who will be able to advise on the most appropriate course of action and treatment.”

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