Norovirus: What you need to know

July 17, 2014
It’s something that most people have heard of, but how much do you actually know about Norovirus?
A few months ago, myself and one of our twins ended up in hospital as a result of Norovirus (read more here). It’s an awful virus and one that took me just over a week to fully recover from.

Our twins lost their appetites which is no surprise really after what they’d been through and we all lost weight as a result.

Following our experiences of Norovirus it’s more important than ever to me to ensure that I thoroughly clean all surfaces which have had food on them and that includes our kitchen table. I might have previously given it a quick once over with a wet wipe after the girls had finished their lunch, but now I have my disinfectant and anti-bacterial spray at the ready all the time!
What is Norovirus?
According to the NHS website, the Norovirus, which is sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common stomach bug in the UK.
It causes diarrhoea and vomiting and it is highly contagious.
As it is a virus you simply have to let it run its course. I ended up in hospital because the out of hours doctors came to my house and told me that I was tachycardic (fast heart rate) with low blood pressure and they called the ambulance for me.
I was given three bags of fluid, anti-sickness and paracetamol through a drip because I was dehydrated. I couldn’t even keep water down.
Typically Norovirus shouldn’t last more than a few days. The period from when you’re infected to when you start to show symptoms (the incubation period) usually lasts between 12 and 48 hours. You may be infectious to other people during this time.
R had it first. One Friday night, she was crying out in her cot a lot and then my husband and I heard her being sick. That was just the start!
That night no-one got much sleep because R kept being sick throughout the night. After numerous  changes of clothes and bedding we managed to get a few hours sleep.

Symptoms
  • Feeling sick followed by forceful vomiting and watery diarrhoea
  • A raised temperature
  • Headaches
  • Painful stomach cramps
  • Aching limbs

As I’ve mentioned above I became dehydrated, as did one of our twins. This is the main risk from norovirus. I couldn’t even keep water down and felt so thirsty.
Thirst is the main sign of dehydration, but other symptoms include dizziness, headache, tiredness, dry mouth, lips and eyes, dark, concentrated urine and only passing small amounts of urine.

What should you do?
  • Drink plenty of water, but don’t gulp it down quickly. Take small sips often
  • Babies can still drink milk
  • You can take paracetamol for any aches and pains
  • Stay indoors – Norovirus is highly contagious
  • If you feel like eating, eat foods which are to digest
  • If your symptoms last more than a few days contact your doctor

Important


Norovirus spreads quickly. Always make sure you wash your hands after being sick and after using the toilet. Disinfect surfaces that infected people have touched. Don’t share towels and wash them regulary.

For more information please visit the NHS website.

2 Comments

  • Yvette

    July 20, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    This sounds so horrendous, I hope you are both fully recovered now. Being hospitalised and having your little girl in must have been very scary. Our son has recently had rotavirus which was awful, awful. I felt so, so sorry for him. Luckily, he didn't get to the dehydration stage, though was still very ill and an a&e trip ensued because of his breathing, due to his fever. All better now though – they bounce back don't they but it's awful seeing them so ill. #binkylinky

  • Sarah Willox Knott

    July 21, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    God this sounds awful! I'm so glad you've all recovered. Thanks for raising awareness, I had no idea it could be so bad!xx

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