Norovirus is a common cause of infectious gastroenteritis that results in diarrhoea and vomiting. As it’s most common during the winter months, norovirus is sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug, but infections can occur at any time of year.

Norovirus is very easily spread from one person to another. Outbreaks of norovirus where more than two people are infected can commonly occur in places where people are in close contact with one another for long periods of time, such as hospitals, care hones, schools and cruise ships.

The best way to stop norovirus spreading is to ensure people: 

  • stay at home for at least 48 hours after symptoms have stopped to avoid further spread 
  • use soap and water for hand-washing as alcohol based hand rub may be ineffective against norovirus 
  • wash their hands, particularly after contact with someone who is ill, after using the toilet and before preparing food

To find out more about norovirus and how to stop it spreading, visit the NHS Inform website.

In addition, norovirus campaign materials are now available with posters and leaflets being issued to boards. These materials and social media messages can also be viewed on the NHS Inform website.