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Health / NHS issues advice on winter vomiting bug

NHS SHETLAND is calling on local people to minimise the risk of catching the seasonal vomiting and diarrhoea bug after receiving the first reports of it spreading.

Health protection nurse Kathleen Jamieson said gastro-intestinal illnesses such as norovirus or rotavirus can spread quickly and easily, particularly between children.

“There are steps that we can all take to reduce the spread of these illnesses and the most effective way is through regular and thorough hand-washing and staying at home whilst ill and for at least 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped,” she said.

“Washing hands with ordinary soap and water, especially after episodes of diarrhoea and vomiting and before eating, is crucial.

“Alcohol-based hand rubs and sanitisers are not always effective against gastrointestinal illnesses, so do not rely on them.”

She added that children who are vomiting or with diarrhoea should not return to school or nursery for at least two days after the diarrhoea and/or vomiting has stopped.

They should also be kept away from parties, sports clubs and competitions and other after-school activities and clubs, the health specialist added.

Anyone who is feeling unwell, or who has had these symptoms, should also not visit the hospital or care centres until they are symptom-free for 48 hours.

Norovirus can be particularly severe for someone who is already unwell in hospital and for older people.

Norovirus is most common in the winter months, but infections can occur at any time. More information can be found here.

There is also more information on the Healthy Shetland website here.

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