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How to identify coronavirus from norovirus as warnings issued after cases of both illnesses surge in Ireland


Cases of both norovirus and coronavirus are on the rise in Ireland and health officials have issued separate warnings for both in recent days.

Norovirus, which is a stomach bug, is reportedly spreading like wildfire at the moment, and Covid cases are naturally rising since the easing of all measures.

As Covid restrictions ease and people resume close contact in crowded spaces, health authorities have seen a tenfold increase in cases of norovirus, and nearly 20,000 cases of Covid over the weekend alone.

READ MORE: Norovirus symptoms: Six signs to watch for as contagious vomiting bug cases spike in Ireland

While the two are very different viruses, UK health officials recently released ‘new symptoms of Covid’ that show an overlap with those experienced by people with a stomach bug.

The six main symptoms of norovirus are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick
  • Aching arms and legs
  • A high temperature
  • A headache

Meanwhile, the nine Covid symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • An aching body
  • A headache
  • A sore throat
  • A blocked or runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick or being sick


How to identify Coronavirus from Norovirus as cases of both illnesses surge in Ireland
How to identify Coronavirus from Norovirus as cases of both illnesses surge in Ireland

Overlapping symptoms include a headache, temperature, feeling sick, being sick, and diarrhoea.

So where some people believe they have Covid, they may in fact have the norovirus.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms shared by both, the only sure way to confirm which it is, is by taking an at-home antigen test.

Should you develop either virus, health officials continue to recommend at-home isolation.

With norovirus, you should stay off work or school until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have passed. You should also avoid visiting anyone in the hospital during this time.

However, with Covid, you should still isolate for the recommended seven days while continuing to be cautious for an additional three days.

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