Winter Vomiting Bug Outbreak


Here come the harbingers of winter – coffee, sunsets at 4.30pm and the winter vomiting bug. However, this year, the dreaded norovirus has attacked a new channel in the people’s stomach. Over the last week, staff and consumers at Mexican food chain, Wahaca restaurants, have reported the symptoms of norovirus infection.

Norovirus causes profuse diarrhoea and vomiting. It is one of the common stomach bugs in the United Kingdom. Norovirus is also called the winter vomiting bug, as it is quite common in winter; however, one can catch it at any time of the year. Usually, norovirus is a self-limiting disease and clears up within a few days. The signs and symptoms are very unpleasant. The infection can spread very easily, so it is important stay indoors until the infection subsides.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Profuse and watery diarrhoea
  • Projectile vomiting
  • Generalised weakness
  • Headache
  • Painful in upper abdomen
  • Aching limbs
  • Fever

These symptoms are experienced after a day or two of virus invasion and typically last for two to three days. Special care should be taken in children, as they easily get dehydrated due to vomiting and diarrhoea.

Things to do

You need to stay home and take bed rest until you feel better. Norovirus is incurable and you have to let the virus run its course. In the meantime, you can follow the below-mentioned tips:

  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration caused by diarrhoea or vomiting
  • Use special rehydration fluids to correct electrolyte imbalance
  • Use diarrhoea and vomiting medicines
  • Take Paracetamol for fever and body aches
  • Eat plain foods such as rice, soup or bread

Since winter vomiting bug is contagious, it is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before and after eating. Remember, it is a viral infection so antibiotics will not help.

Preventing norovirus is not possible; however, taking certain precautions would help, such as disinfecting infected objects or surfaces, washing clothing and bedding, and avoiding sharing of flannels and towels. For more information on norovirus, you can see your GP.


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