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Improving Lincolnshire’s health and wellbeing

NHS Lincolnshire CCG has transferred to the new NHS Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board (ICB). Please now visit www.lincolnshire.icb.nhs.uk

Struck down by a stomach bug? Take care and don’t overshare!


When it comes to sickness and diarrhoea, no-one likes it when you overshare – particularly if that means spreading a virus around.

That’s why people in Lincolnshire are being urged to look after others as well as themselves if they are unfortunate enough to be laid low with a nasty stomach bug.

Sickness bugs are particularly widespread and are very easily spread through contaminated surfaces and close contact with other people. There is no cure, but they usually clear up by themselves within a few days, and the best way to recover is through self-care at home – getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids and washing hands regularly with soap and water.

With something like a stomach bug, looking after yourself at home can often be the best option. If you need guidance on what you can do to help yourself get better, you should contact your local pharmacist – they can provide quick advice without you having to wait for an appointment or sit in a waiting room.

If you are worried your stomach complaint is something more than a simple bug, a pharmacist will be able to let you know if they think a visit to the doctors is needed. If your local pharmacy is closed, visit NHS 111 online or call NHS 111 for free and a trained advisor can talk you through the best course of action.

Symptoms include suddenly feeling sick, projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea. Some people can have a slight fever, headache, painful stomach cramps and aching limbs too.

The symptoms start around 12 to 72 hours after picking up the infection and can last up to 60 hours. You should stay at home for at least 48 hours after the last symptoms have cleared.

Anyone suffering can help to stop the spread of the bug through good hand hygiene and using soap and water rather than alcohol hand gels, which do not kill the virus.

For more information on staying well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell.