Norovirus is a particular problem for hospitals for two main reasons; because we are looking after already unwell people, some of whom have a reduced immunity or who are elderly and frail and therefore are more susceptible to infection. Also as Norovirus is highly infectious it can seriously affect the services within a hospital. In most cases there is no benefit in people with this type of gastrointestinal infection being in hospital if they do not have some other more serious condition, however the very young and elderly may become dehydrated.

Norovirus is highly infectious and causes a very unpleasant but generally short-lived illness from which people usually recover without any treatment. The main symptom is vomiting, which can come on very suddenly and is often accompanied by diarrhoea. Some people may suffer with a raised temperature, headache and even aching limbs. If you do have any of these symptoms then the advice is simple: do not visit loved ones in hospital or nursing homes until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours. You should also stay away from work, or school until you have fully recovered.

If symptoms persist, you become dehydrated, have an underlying medical condition or are genuinely concerned; you should contact your GP or call NHS111 for advice.