School Nurse Newsletter November – December 2016
Hello from the School Nurse Team
It has come to our attention that many parents and Schools are reporting many current cases of the Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK. It’s also called the “winter vomiting bug” because it’s more common in winter, although you can catch it at any time of the year.
Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up by itself in a few days.
You can normally look after yourself or your child at home.
Symptoms of norovirus
The symptoms of norovirus are very distinctive.
You’re likely to have norovirus if you experience:
- suddenly feeling sick
- projectile vomiting
- watery diarrhoea
Some people also have a slight fever, headaches, painful stomach cramps and aching limbs.
The symptoms appear one to two days after you become infected and typically last for up to two or three days.
What to do if you have norovirus
If you experience sudden diarrhoea and vomiting, the best thing to do is to stay at home until you’re feeling better. There’s no cure for norovirus, so you have to let it run its course.
To help ease your own or your child’s symptoms:
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. You need to drink more than usual to replace the fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea – as well as water, adults could also try fruit juice and soup. Avoid giving fizzy drinks or fruit juice to children as it can make their diarrhoea worse. Babies should continue to feed as usual, either with breast milk or other milk feeds.
- Take paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains.
- Get plenty of rest.
- If you feel like eating, eat plain foods, such as soup, rice, pasta and bread.
- Use special rehydration drinks made from sachets bought from pharmacies if you have signs of dehydration, such as a dry mouth or dark urine.
Stay off work or school until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared, to reduce the risk of passing it on.
When to get medical advice
You don’t normally need to see your GP if you think you or your child has norovirus, as there’s no specific treatment for it. But if you require further advice and support you can contact your GP, NHS 111 service or speak to a pharmacist.
It’s not always possible to avoid getting norovirus, but following the advice below can help stop the virus spreading.
- Stay off work or school until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have passed. You should also avoid visiting anyone in hospital during this time.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food. Don’t rely on alcohol hand gels, as they do not kill the virus.
- Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated. It’s best to use a bleach-based household cleaner.
- Wash any items of clothing or bedding that could have become contaminated separately on a hot wash to ensure the virus is killed.
- Don’t share towels and flannels.
- Flush away any infected poo or vomit in the toilet and clean the surrounding area.
- Avoid eating raw, unwashed produce and only eat oysters from a reliable source, as oysters can carry norovirus.
Your School Nurse teams provide a confidential all year round health service, and help support the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of children, young people and families.
To contact the School Nurse team they can be contacted on Wigston Schools 0116 2642693 or Oadby Schools 0116 2642682. The School Nurse Service also provide a text messaging service ChatHealth to which anybody can access to ask advice or support the text number is 07520615387.
For health advice, tip or just a little fun why not visit the new School Nurse Website www.healthforkids.co.uk or www.healthforteens.co.uk it contains lots of health information aimed for both children and parents.