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Norovirus – causes of diarrhoea - IMODIUM®



Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea, is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK, especially during the winter months.

Also known as the winter vomiting bug, Norovirus is the biggest viral cause of gastroenteritis in the country. Whilst it is called the winter vomiting bug, you can catch it at any time of year.

Symptoms of Norovirus

Norovirus is caused by a number of different viruses, but every variation of the virus can cause gastroenteritis. If you believe you are suffering from norovirus you are likely to experience:

  • Watery diarrhoea
  • Projectile Vomiting
  • Painful Stomach Cramps
  • Aching limbs
  • Suddenly feeling sick
  • Fever
  • Headaches

Symptoms can last for up to 2-3 days.

How to avoid catching or spreading the virus

Norovirus is highly contagious and spreads easily in public places such as workplaces and public transport. If you catch the infection, be careful not to spread it to other people.

You can catch it via:

  • Contact with someone who has norovirus – they could exhale particles containing the virus which you could inhale.
  • Touching contaminated surfaces or objects – norovirus has the ability to survive outside of the body on surfaces for up to several days.
  • Eating contaminated foods – foods could become infectious if a person who already has Norovirus doesn’t wash their hands before handling food.

An individual with Norovirus is at their most contagious from when their symptoms start until 48 hours after the symptoms have passed.

Whilst it is not always possible to prevent getting Norovirus, the following advice from the NHS can help Norovirus from spreading:

Stay off work or school until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have passed.

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water-  particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food. Try not to rely solely on anti-bacterial or alcohol hand gels as these do not kill the virus.
  • Flush away any infected poo or vomit in the toilet. Ideally disinfect the toilet seat and flush after use.
  • Avoid preparing product for others, and avoid eating raw, unwashed produce. – only eat oysters from a reliable source as oysters can carry traces of Norovirus.
  • Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated with a bleached based household cleaner – such as house phones, work surfaces and bannisters.
  • Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with vomit or poop. Handle soiled items carefully—try not to shake them —to avoid spreading virus. If available, wear disposable gloves while handling soiled clothing or linens and wash your hands after handling. Wash soiled items with detergent at the maximum available cycle length and then machine dry.
  • Don't share towels and flannels.

Treating Diarrhoea with IMODIUM®

IMODIUM® works in harmony with your body to help restore its natural rhythm. Many people believe it is best to let diarrhoea run its course to ‘flush’ bacteria and the toxins out of the system. This is in fact, incorrect.

84% of people feel weak and lacking in energy when suffering from diarrhoea. By treating diarrhoea you can help to reduce the associated loss of fluids and salts, regulating and restoring your digestive balance back to normal

Find out more about IMODIUM®

IMODIUM® Original capsules can stop diarrhoea in one dose.


IMODIUM® IBS Relief helps you take control of your IBS diarrhoea.

IMODIUM® Instants dissolve instantly on your tongue, so they’re great for when you’re on the go.

IMODIUM® Plus Comfort tablets not only helps stop diarrhoea, but also soothe painful cramps, bloating and wind.

It’s easy to find IMODIUM® in supermarkets, chemists and many other shops. You don't need a prescription, so you can buy it over the counter as well as online.