Help Cornwall’s NHS stop the spread of winter viruses

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We are seeing a rise in cases of norovirus, flu and COVID-19 in Cornwall, and our NHS is asking for your help to stop the spread.

Families with symptoms are being urged to stay at home and seek advice from the NHS online or over the phone, rather than visiting a hospital or health centre.

Please wash your hands regularly to help avoid passing on winter viruses. Remember that alcohol hand gels DO NOT kill norovirus.

Symptoms, treatment and stopping the spread


Symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to those of other viruses, like colds and flu. They include a high temperature or shivering; a new, continuous cough; a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste; shortness of breath; feeling tired or exhausted; an aching body; a headache; a sore throat; a blocked or runny nose; loss of appetite; diarrhoea; feeling sick or being sick.

To treat the symptoms of COVID-19, get lots of rest, drink plenty of fluids and take paracetamol of ibuprofen if you feel uncomfortable. Try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. Please also have any vaccinations you are eligible for. Flu and COVID-19 vaccines can help protect you from getting sick and spreading the virus to others. Read more about how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19


Although norovirus is unpleasant, for most people it usually passes in a couple of days. The main symptoms are feeling sick (nausea), diarrhoea and being sick (vomiting). You may also have a high temperature, headache or aching arms and legs. The symptoms start suddenly within 1 to 2 days of being infected.

You can usually treat yourself or your child at home. It is important to rest and drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration. You will usually start to feel better in 2 to 3 days.

For more advice on treating diarrhoea and vomiting in children and adults, visit the NHS website.

Louise Dickinson, Director of Infection Prevention and Control for both Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We want the public to be aware that norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting bug, is circulating in some healthcare settings and within the community right now. People can play a part in helping to reduce its spread though. I urge anyone who has picked up this virus, that causes diarrhoea and vomiting, not to go back to work or school until at least 48 hours after symptoms pass”.

“Many people might not realise but the virus is often brought into hospital buildings by well-meaning visitors. We want people to be aware of norovirus so they do not accidently give it to loved ones they may be visiting in our hospitals. The same applies for any setting, including GP surgeries.

“Unless symptoms persist for more than a few days, it is best to reduce contact with others, stay home, drink plenty of water and take paracetamol. If symptoms go on for longer, contact NHS 111 for advice”.

Read more advice and information about norovirus on the NHS website

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