Norovirus Outbreak In England; Know All About The Highly Infectious Virus

Norovirus Outbreak In England; Know All About The Highly Infectious Virus

Covid-hit Britain is being dealt with norovirus outbreak - a vicious bug that is highly infectious and causes vomiting and diarrhoea in people. Read on to know all about the condition.

Written by Arushi Bidhuri |Updated : July 19, 2021 11:42 AM IST

After battling the Covid-19 pandemic for almost two years, a new virus outbreak has been reported in the UK, which is spreading like wildfire. Referred to as the vomiting bug, Norovirus is highly infectious and causes vomiting and diarrhoea. Public Health England issued a warning about this nasty virus after routine surveillance reported that there has been a massive jump in cases of norovirus. According to reports, 154 outbreaks have been recorded in England since May. This is roughly three times the previous five-year average of 53 outbreaks over the same time period. According to PHE, while small children have been affected, there has also been an increase in infection across all age categories.

What Is Norovirus?

Norovirus is also known as the winter bug and usually strikes during the winter months. However, it is infecting people in the UK now as well. It is easily spread by contact with sick people or contaminated surfaces. Norovirus is very contagious and causes vomiting and diarrhoea, although it generally clears up in a few days.

The majority of infections are caused by coming into touch with sick individuals or contaminated surfaces, or by consuming contaminated food and drink.

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Incubation Period

According to CDC, the average incubation for norovirus is 12-48 hours after being exposed to the virus. However, those who get infected with this contagious virus get better within 1-3 days of getting the infection. As restrictions are being eased down, it is probable that people are mixing more with others, thus increasing the possibility of catching the nasty, extremely infectious illness.

What Are The Symptoms?

The signs and symptoms of norovirus as listed by CDC include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches

In some cases, it can cause intestine or stomach inflammation, which is also known as acute gastroenteritis.


As we continue to take precautionary measures against Covid-19, here are some precautions you should take to avoid the contraction of the highly infectious, norovirus. Again, the most important thing is to pay close attention to hygiene.

  • Quarantine yourself in case you experience any symptoms of norovirus.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, using soap and water. Unlike COVID-19, alcohol sanitisers do not kill norovirus, therefore soap and water are the best options.
  • To disinfect contaminated household surfaces, use a bleach-based household cleaner or a mixture of bleach and hot water.
  • Avoid cooking or eating with others at least 48 hours after recovering from the infection.
  • Any contaminated clothes or bedding should be washed with detergent and at 60 C, and contaminated objects should be handled with disposable gloves if feasible.
  • People infected with the virus should take rest and stay hydrated.
  • Seek medical attention if symptoms persist for more than 24 hours.
  • Since young children and the elderly are more prone to rapid dehydration, take extra care and be cautious.