No thanks, Norovirus! Surviving the Winter Vomiting Bug Battle.

If you’re reading this, chances are you or your child may have been an unlucky victim of a dreaded stomach bug at some stage of your life. It may have even happened multiple times. The Winter Vomiting Bug, also known as Norovirus in adults and Rotavirus in children, can strike at any time of year but is at its most common during the milder winter months. It’s also particularly unpleasant (we’ve been there, and it wasn’t pretty.) child ill on sofa

What are the symptoms?

This evil bug is characterised by nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhoea (often watery). You may also feel a general sense of feeling unwell and also may have a raised temperature. Whenever I’ve suffered with this, I also find that I have an overwhelming sense of tiredness and fatigue. This is more than likely due to your body’s effort in fighting it off!

How do I catch it?

You can catch the Winter Vomiting Bug by close contact with someone with the virus, touching an infected surface or eating food that has been contaminated by someone with the virus. Lucizaid have produced a handy norovirus fact sheet explaining everything you need to know! has been prepared by someone with the virus.
norovirus cells
Norovirus cells. Pretty in colour; not so pretty in reality.

Help! I’ve caught the dreaded bug! What do I do?

You’ve been unlucky. Stay tight and hold on for the ride. Luckily it shoots through you as quickly as it came, so you’ll probably find that you start to feel better in 24-48 hours after symptoms first appear. The main aims of the game for you or your patient (it has a nasty habit of spreading around all members of the household), as described on the NHS website, are as follows:

Stay hydrated

The number one risk of all of the stomach upsets and vomiting is the risk of dehydration. Even though you may not feel like it, you should keep on taking small sips of water. Clear fluids are recommended above all else!

Take paracetamol

This is by far the most efficient painkiller to take when suffering from the winter vomiting bug. Check the packet for the right dose and wait for the sweet relief to kick in.

Prevent spread

Norovirus can get around the room as quickly as Road Runner. You should ensure that you wash your hands with soap and hot water, and dry them with your own towel. Don’t share towels. Also, bear in mind that anti-bacterial gels do not work on this virus, so stick with just the soap and water on this one. The virus can also be present in vomit particles, so don’t let anyone else get too close. Door handles, surfaces and toilets should be cleaned with bleach to disinfect surfaces and prevent infecting anyone else. cleaning equipment

Eat plain foods

You don’t have to eat anything when you’re feeling unwell. However, when you choose to start eating something, pick plain foods such as soup, bread and pasta.

Use rehydration sachets

You can prepare special rehydration drinks as recommended by your pharmacist. Top tip: we use dioralyte, but use the plain one and mix it with fruit squash to make it more palatable. This is pleasant for us as adults but even better when trying to get dioralyte into little ones!

Tips for coping with the dreaded Winter Vomiting Bug

It sucks being poorly yourself. When you’re a parent however, things sink to an all new low. You either have to try looking after your child whilst being ill yourself or you also find yourself trying to deal with their bad stomach and vomiting at the same time as your own. Comforting a distressed child with this bug at the same time as keeping them hydrated can be a strain. We asked some blogger friends what their tips were on how to keep the household sane (and clean) when Norovirus hits.

Looking after yourself and others

“I tend to shop online and buy lots of food that needs minimal prep. So brioches, waffles, pancakes for breakfast. Toast and bananas are good for sickness too. My boys are then able to just graze all day when they are hungry and if i am ill too i dont have to spend long on my feet!” – Jaymee (The Mum Diaries) “Keep the heating on low and constant, I found change in temperature triggered us to throw up even more. Have a sick bucket in every room too, might seem extreme but you’ll be thankful!” – Care (Care Johnson) “My son caught the norovirus quite badly at 15 months when I was breastfeeding my newborn and ended up being put on a drip. In hospital. We all got it except for my new baby and I think breastfeeding provided the immunity. So if you’re breastfeeding, double up because it acts as the best immunity, especially for very young babies where the norovirus can be extra nasty. ” Leyla (Motherhood DIaries) ill robot

Combatting dehydration & keeping the house clean

“Dehydration is a big problem so buying some new and really fun water bottles / flasks can encourage them to drink more. Amazon Prime is an absolute lifesaver when everyone is too ill to leave the house as well. For keeping things clean you can get Dettol wet wipes that you just pull out a wipe and quickly wipe the surface, bathroom, sink, handles, etc. and this will help keep everything clean.” – Christy (Welsh Mum of One) “Dettol spray. It’s so good for spraying on everything to kill the germs – I sprayed it on door handles, cupboards the lot!” – Lianne (Ankle Biters Adventures) “I always keep some Dioralyte or Oral Rehydration Salts in the house. Really good for restoring salt balance lost through vomit/diarrhoea. These can be used in pregnancy too ( I got Campylobacter when pregnant). Can be used over age 2. Hope everyone feels better soon!” Jo (A Rose Tinted World) washing hands
We hope you all stay well and fingers crossed stay free from Norovirus! However, sometimes catching the beastly virus is inevitable. If you are unlucky enough to get the winter vomiting bug, we hope some of these tips help. What would you add to the list? Join in the conversation on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages or let us know using the comments box below.

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