AS winter approaches, fresh advice has been issued to avoid people in the South West getting an unpleasant vomiting bug.
South West Public Health England issued the advice due to the increasing risk of catching norovirus in the winter months, an illness which typically lasts two days.
One of the best ways to protect against norovirus and to help prevent infection is by practising good hygiene.
This includes thorough hand washing with soap and warm water, especially after using the toilet and before eating or preparing food.
Mike Wade, deputy director of health protection for South West, PHE said that the illness is transmitted by touching infected hands or surfaces.
“Norovirus can be unpleasant and is easily passed on to those around you,” he said.
“Most people get over it within a day or two but in the very young, elderly or those who have weakened immune systems it can last longer and it is easy to get dehydrated, so it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent this.
“It is transmitted by touching hands or surfaces that the virus has landed on. All surfaces should be thoroughly disinfected after any episode of illness.
“Those who have diarrhoea and vomiting should not prepare food until 48 hours after symptoms have disappeared.
“We advise that they should avoid visiting GP surgeries, care homes and hospitals if they have symptoms.”
Symptoms of norovirus include sudden onset of nausea, projectile vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
Illness typically lasts about 24 to 48 hours.
If anyone has symptoms and is concerned they should contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone.