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NHS Shetland

NHS Shetland has received the first reports of seasonal vomiting and diarrhoea and would like to remind members of the community of the ways to minimise the risk of catching gastro-intestinal illnesses such as norovirus or rotavirus which can spread quickly and easily, particularly between children.

Kathleen Jamieson, NHS Shetland’s Health Protection Nurse Specialist, said:  “There are steps that we can all take to reduce the spread of these illnesses and the most effective way is through regular and thorough hand-washing and staying at home whilst ill and for at least 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped.

“Washing hands with ordinary soap and water, especially after episodes of diarrhoea and vomiting and before eating, is crucial.  Alcohol-based hand rubs and sanitisers are not always effective against gastrointestinal illnesses, so do not rely on them.”

Children who are vomiting or with diarrhoea should not return to school or nursery for at least two days after the diarrhoea and/or vomiting has stopped, and as long as they are well enough in themselves. They should also be kept away from parties, sports clubs and competitions and other after-school activities and clubs.

Anyone who is feeling unwell, or who has had these symptoms, should not visit the hospital or care centres until they are symptom-free for 48 hours. Norovirus can be particularly severe for someone who is already unwell in hospital and for older people.

Norovirus is most common in the winter months but infections can occur at any time; more information is available here: Norovirus – NHS inform

Other viruses can cause the same gastrointestinal symptoms, especially in children, but they are all potentially infectious and should be managed in the same way.  More information is available here: Gastroenteritis | NHS inform

For more information, read the blog on the Healthy Shetland website - Winter Illness Information – Vomiting & Diarrhoea – Healthy Shetland

A leaflet can also be found here - DV-information-leaflet-2023-005.pdf (healthyshetland.com)



Published: Monday, 27th November 2023