Scottish Government
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Vomiting bug circulating

Scots were yesterday urged to take some basic precautions to prevent bugs spreading and to protect more vulnerable friends and family.

Scotland's Chief Medical Officer and Chief Nursing Officer have urged people to follow a few simple tips and take some basic precautions to prevent bugs spreading to protect more vulnerable friends and family. This includes the very young, the elderly, the sick along with people in hospitals and care homes.

Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns said:

"Norovirus, or the winter vomiting bug, spreads quickly where people are living or working in close proximity - such as schools, hospitals, care homes, offices and hotels.

"The virus is highly contagious and unpleasant, but fortunately most people make a full recovery with no complications.

"Rates of norovirus fluctuate from year to year with occasional spikes so we cannot estimate how severe this winter season will be. However, we remain vigilant and ready to cope with whatever the winter has in store."

Chief Nursing Officer Ros Moore said:

"The symptoms of norovirus usually clear up in a couple of days and are generally not serious. However diarrhoea can be serious in babies and the elderly because of the risk of dehydration. If diarrhoea is persistent or there are other symptoms, such as bleeding, you should go to see your GP.

"The Scottish Government and health boards monitor norovirus outbreaks closely throughout the year taking every step to minimise its impact on people who use and work in our hospitals.

"But there are simple steps everyone can take to prevent the spread of the virus, including washing your hands properly and not going to school or work or to visit people in hospital or care homes while you are ill."

If you do catch the winter vomiting bug, then the advice is:

  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic, non-milky liquids to replace lost fluids
  • Take oral rehydration solution to replace lost salts and fluids
  • Make sure your hands are clean to prevent the illness spreading

Don't prepare food for other people, especially babies and older people.

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