Norovirus, also called the "winter vomiting bug", is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant, but usually goes away in about 2 days.
The main symptoms of norovirus are:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- being sick (vomiting)
You may also have:
- a high temperature of 38C or above
- a headache
- aching arms and legs
The symptoms start suddenly within 1 to 2 days of being infected.
How norovirus is spread
You can catch norovirus from:
- close contact with someone with norovirus
- touching surfaces or objects that have been touched by someone with norovirus
- eating food that has been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus
What you can do
The most effective way to prevent the spread of norovirus is to:
- wash your hands frequently with soap and water (alcohol hand gels do not kill norovirus)
- not share towels and flannels
- not share cups, glasses, dishes or cutlery
- disinfect any hard surfaces that an infected person has touched with a chlorine releasing agent, such as bleach
If you require medical advice, call NHS direct on 111.