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10:47am 7th November 2014
Families in Cornwall are asked to help contain stomach bugs this winter.
Health bosses are giving out advice as they prepare for possible cases of norovirus.
The sickness bug can lead to closed wards and cancelled operations if it gets into hospitals.
We are asked to stay away for three days after symptoms and to keep up hand hygiene.
Stuart Bourne, Acting Director of Public Health with Cornwall Council, said: "Norovirus and similar bugs can be very unpleasant - they really are best avoided if you possibly can. Most people get better in a day or two, but the very young or old in particular can get very dehydrated and need medical treatment.
"Luckily, there are simple things everyone can do to minimize the risk, like washing hands properly, being very careful with the handling of food and avoiding contact with other people who show symptoms.
"And if you do get a bug like this, it's really important to make sure you don't visit someone in hospital for at least three days after symptoms have disappeared. Otherwise you could be putting vulnerable people at real risk."
Anyone can catch Norovirus, but the important thing is to avoid passing it on. There are simple things that people can do to reduce the spread of Norovirus and other infections:
" Always make sure you clean your hands with soap and hot water when you enter and leave hospital, nursing home or other place where there are vulnerable people.
" Don't visit anyone in hospital if you have symptoms of the Norovirus, including vomiting, diarrhoea, high temperature, aches and pains.
" Most people with the bug will make a full recovery within two to three days and are advised to stay at home, take paracetamol to relieve fever and drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids. Make sure you have some rehydration salts in your medicine cabinet.
" If you start to feel dehydrated, it is important to seek medical attention, particularly if you have a long term condition or you are elderly.
" If you are affected stay away from work and hospitals/GP surgeries until you've been symptom-free for two days.
" NHS 111 can give you round-the-clock help and advice, as well as your local pharmacist.
You can find out more about Norovirus and how to treat it on the NHS Choices website
Cornwall's multi-agency Winter Wellbeing campaign includes information on how to avoid the norovirus, and other winter bugs, as well as general advice on staying warm and well during the cold season.
Download a copy of the Guide here
You can also find copies in your local One Stop Shop, and, libraries, hospitals, job centres, food banks and health centres. Partner organisations, such as Age Concern, also have copies.
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