2What are Noroviruses?Noroviruses are a group of viruses that are the most common cause of gastroenteritis (stomach bugs) in England and Wales.In the past noroviruses have been called ‘winter vomiting viruses’, ‘small round structured virus’ or ‘Norwalk – like virus’.
3How does Norovirus spread? The virus is easily transmitted from one person to another.It can be transmitted by contact with an infected person, by consuming contaminated food or water or by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.It is likely to spread in enclosed areas where people have a lot of contact,such as schools, hospitals and nursing homes.
4The symptoms of norovirus infection will begin around 12 to 48 hours after becoming infected. The symptoms will last for 24 – 72 hours.They start with the sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting.Watery diarrhoea.Headache, raised temperature and aching limbs.
5How is Norovirus treated? There is no specific treatment for norovirus apart from letting the illness run its course.It is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.The very young and the elderly should take extra care if infected, as dehydration is more common in these age groups.
6How can I prevent others from from becoming infected Good hygiene is important.You should wash your hands thoroughly, especially after using the toilet.Clean contaminated surfaces with disinfectant.You should avoid preparing food for others until at least 48 hours after your symptoms have gone altogether.Avoid visiting hospital or care facilities, avoid public areas (supermarket, buses etc)
7Who is at risk of getting norovirus? There is no one specific group who are are risk of contracting norovirus.It affects people of all ages.Anywhere that large numbers of people congregate for periods of time such as schools, residential/nursing homes, Health care settings and hotels.
8How common is Norovirus It is estimated that norovirus affects between 600,000 and a million people in the UK each year
10Isn’t flu just a heavy cold? No. Colds are much less serious and usually start gradually with a sore throat and stuffy or funny nose.
11What is flu?Flu (influenza) is a respiratory infection caused by the influenza virusIt is transmitted by droplets of respiratory secretions from person to person.The symptoms include fever, headache, cough, sore throat and aching muscles and joints.
12How serious is flu?Catching flu is a nasty experience for most people. But it can also lead to really serious illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia, which may mean you need hospital treatment.A lot of people, mainly older people, die from the flu every winter
14Who needs a flu jab? 65 or over Serious heart or chest complaint Serious kidney or liver diseaseDiabetesLower immunity due to disease or treatment such as steroid medication or cancer treatmentPregnantCarers and healthcare workers2-3 year olds with the nasal spray vaccine (will eventually cover children 2-16yrs)
15When are flu vaccines given? The best time is between September and early November ready for the winter
16How does the vaccine work? Your body starts making antibodies to the vaccine virus about a week to ten days after the injection.The antibodies help protect you against any similar viruses you then come into contact with
17Can the flu jab actually cause flu? No. The vaccine doesn’t contain any live virus, so it can’t cause flu.Some people get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of day afterwards, and your arm may feel a bit sore where you were injected.
18Is there anyone who shouldn’t get a flu jab? If you have a serious allergy to hens eggs, you shouldn’t get vaccinated.You shouldn’t have the vaccine if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccine, or to any of its ingredients, which needed urgent medical treatment.If you are unsure please ask you doctor for advice