Six key Norovirus symptoms as experts warn hand sanitiser not enough to stop spread

Experts say hand sanitisers are not enough to stop the spread of norovirus, which can cause nausea, diarrhoea and projectile vomiting, and has seen a massive uptick in cases in recent weeks

NHS England urged people to stay at home if they get the bug – which causes vomiting and diarrhoea – to avoid passing it on

Norovirus cases are on the rise in the UK and experts have warned hand sanitiser will not be enough to stop the spread.

The bug, which causes nausea and vomiting, usually seems to arise in the winter months but had been kept at bay by covid restrictions.

With Brits now free to mingle more than previously, germs are spreading more easily.

Care homes and schools are often the worst affected by norovirus outbreaks, which then quickly spread within families.

Experts have since warned parents to act fast if they notice any symptoms and to regularly wash their hands with soap water, as hand sanitiser is ineffective at killing the virus.

The UK Health Security Agency, which monitors outbreaks of the vomiting bug, has urged Brits to be vigilant as cases continue to rise.

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Lesley Larkin, Surveillance Lead, Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety, UK Health Security Agency told The Sun the increased cases were due to a relaxing in covid restrictions.

“Symptoms include sudden onset of nausea, projectile vomiting and diarrhoea but can also include a high temperature, abdominal pain and aching limbs,” she added.

Ms Larkin urged Brits to stay at home if they were experiencing symptoms and to avoid returning to work or sending children to nursery until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared.

Computer artwork of norovirus particles in the bloodstream



Those who believe they have contracted the virus are advised to keep as hydrated as possible and stay clear of elderly relatives, “especially in care homes or hospitals” while they are feeling sick.

“Handwashing is key to help stop the spread of this bug, but unlike for Covid-19 alcohol hand sanitisers do not kill off norovirus, so soap and warm water is best,” Ms Larkin added.

Anyone suffering from norovirus symptoms can book a phone consultation if they are concerned, but are advised not to see their GP in person.

Norovirus can easily spread through contact with infected patients or contaminated surfaces, however, the virus usually passes after a couple of days.

Covid restrictions also saw flu cases lower than usual during the winter months, but as restrictions have lifted these too have begun to pick up.

Compared to pre-pandemic levels, cases are still relatively low but have nevertheless seen an increase over her last week.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist for the UK Health Security Agency, told The Sun the increase was likely to increased mixing in office workspaces and urged Brits to regularly wash their hands to curb the spread.

He also encouraged those believing they are suffering from flu to work from home until they are feeling better, and to avoid contact with elderly relatives.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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