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Winter vomiting bug

Baby holding adults hand

Between 600,000 and 1 million people in the UK catch norovirus every year. You may have heard of it as the ‘winter vomiting bug’ because the illness is more common in winter. However, the virus can be caught at any time of the year.

The virus, which is highly contagious, causes vomiting and diarrhoea. As there is no specific cure, you have to let it run its course, but it should not last more than a couple of days.

What should I do?

Extra care should be taken to prevent babies and small children who are vomiting or have diarrhoea
from dehydrating, by giving them plenty of fluids. Babies and young children can still drink milk.

  • Make sure your baby drinks plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration
  • Take paediatric paracetamol to ease fever or aches and pains
  • If they feel like eating, try to give them foods that are easy to digest
  • Contact your GP to seek advice if your baby’s symptoms last longer than a few days or if they already have a serious illness.

Where to get help

NHS 111 England
NHS Direct Wales 0845 4647
NHS 24 (Scotland) 0845 424 2424

For further information you can order or download our booklet Common winter illnesses (link to shop)


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