We all know that winter brings with it bad weather however it also bring sickness.

This article will look at some of the different sickness bugs that winter delivers to us and what we can do to combat the.


This virus is better known as the winter vomiting bug; Norovirus is the most common stomach bug in the UK and affects people of all ages.

The virus itself is highly contagious and you are recommended to avoid doctor’s surgeries when suffering from this virus.

There are some symptoms of Norovirus that will help you to diagnose if you have this bug

The first signs of Norovirus are

  • Sudden sick feeling
  • Watery diarrhoea
  • Raised temperature (over 38C/100.4f)
  • Stomach cramps
  • Aching limbs

These symptoms can show 2 to 3 days before you can become infected, although there are no long term effects of Norovirus however in the short term there is a risk of becoming dehydrated.

Recognising dehydration is also important, the early signs of dehydration are

  • Dizziness/Light-headedness
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Dry mouth, lips and eyes
  • Dark, concentrated urine
  • Going to the toilet fewer than 3 to 4 times a day

Although there is no specific treatment experts recommend that you let the illness run its course as your immune system will probably fight the infection in a few days, however you should remember to drink lots of fluids and have paracetamol to hand.


Commonly known as the flu is another infectious disease, the common symptoms of flu are Chills, Fever, Sore Throat, Muscle Pains, Headaches, coughing, weakness/fatigue and general discomfort.

 This infection is commonly mixed up with the common cold or man flu that some of the male population on the planet suffer from.

To help prevent catching the flu it is recommended that you get a yearly flu injection especially if you are in one of the high risk groups which include

  • Over 65
  • Pregnant
  • Chronic health conditions (asthma, diabetes and heart or lung disease)

If you are suffering from the flu, common cold or man flu you should always take steps to avoid the spread of germs, these steps include

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing
  • Wash your hands where possible or carry an antibacterial hand sanitizer with you
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid contact with sick people

To help fight the man flu or the common cold you should stock up on hot drinks such as Lemsips or Capsules.

Flu however is different and a course of antiviral medicine will be required.

Steve Jones works for a medical consultancy that helps find Occupational therapy jobs for qualified medical professionals.