Help reduce spread of winter bugs

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People are being reminded about the importance of good hand hygiene to help reduce the spread of winter bugs.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is keen for the public to help stop the spread of diarrhoea and vomiting – known as norovirus – which is currently circulating in the community.

One of the most common stomach bugs in the UK, it is also called the winter vomiting bug because it is most prevalent at this time of the year. It usually clears up by itself within a few days.

Norovirus can spread very easily and people with symptoms should stay at home, stay well hydrated and wash their hands regularly. To reduce the spread of the bug, they must not return to work or school, or visit hospitals or care homes, until they have been symptom-free for 48 hours.

The advice is part of Northumbria Healthcare backing the NHS Stay Well This Winter campaign, a joint initiative from NHS England and Public Health England, to help the public ward off common winter illnesses.

Diane Sisterson, lead nurse for infection prevention and control at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “People should stay at home to recover, drink plenty of fluids and remember to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water at regular intervals to reduce the likelihood of it spreading.

“This is the single most important thing people can do to help stop the spread of norovirus.”

Advice is available online at www.nhs.uk or by calling NHS 111 if symptoms persist.