Temperatures are dropping, and winter is well and truly upon us.
And with the festive season on its way, so too is the season of the norovirus – otherwise known as the winter vomiting bug.
This year, the coronavirus pandemic has added an extra layer of confusion for many – with some symptoms overlapping between the two.
Here, we have pulled together a handy guide of both norovirus and COVID-19 symptoms to help put you at ease this winter.
Norovirus, otherwise known as the “winter vomiting bug”, is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea.
According to the NHS, the main symptoms are:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- being sick (vomiting)
You may also have:
- a high temperature of 38C or above
- a headache
- aching arms and legs
The symptoms start suddenly within 1 to 2 days of being infected.
How to treat norovirus yourself
You can usually treat yourself or your child at home – and start to feel better within two or three days.
The NHS urge you to stay at home – off school or work – until the symptoms have stopped for two days as “this is when you are most infectious”.
How is norovirus spread?
Norovirus can be caught by being in close contact with someone with the bug, touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them and then touching your mouth, or eating food that’s been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus.
According to the NHS, washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading – with alcohol hand gels not able to kill norovirus.
Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is an infectious disease that has gripped the world for the last year.
So far, more than 50,000 people in the UK have died from causes related to the virus – with more than 1.45 million cases recorded across the UK so far.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
- A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
According to the NHS website, most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.
What to do if you have symptoms?
If you have symptoms of coronavirus in Scotland, you should book a COVID-19 test via NHS 24 or here.
While waiting for the results, you and your household should isolate.
If positive, the Test and Protect scheme kicks in and you will be asked for your anyone you have been in contact with.