WITH winter weather well and truly upon us, the likelihood of catching Norovirus is at it's most common.

In the last few weeks, schools across Glasgow and East Dunbartonshire have been forced to close their doors and hundreds of pupils sent home sick.

And it's not just children too, the illness - otherwise known at the "winter vomiting bug" - can affect adults too.

Here at the Evening Times we're aware of how distressing it may be for parents to have their children go through the bug, so we've pulled together an easy guide on Norovirus - from it's symptoms to what to do if you fall ill.

What schools have been hit?

The first recent case of the winter vomiting bug noted by the Evening Times was at St Angela's Primary School in Darnley on November 5.

On November 14, Thomas Muir Primary in Bishopbriggs had to sent pupils home after they exhibited symptoms.

Then on Wednesday, Balmuildy Primary - also in Bishopbriggs - was closed due to a lack of hot water.

And on the same day, Elmvale Primary in Springburn closed its doors because of the bug.

What are the symptoms?

You are likely to have Norovirus if you experience suddenly feeling sick, projectile vomiting and/or watery diarrhoea.

Some people also have a slight fever, headaches, painful stomach cramps and aching limbs.

The symptoms appear one or two days after you become infected and typically last for up to two to three days.

How is it spread?

Norovirus spreads easily in public places such as schools and hospitals.

You can catch it if small particles of vomit or stools from an infected person get into your mouth.

This can be through touching contaminated surfaces (it can survive outside the body for several days), being in close contact with someone with the bug or eating contaminated food.

How to prevent it?

It's not always possible to avoid getting Norovirus, but you can help it spreading.

You are urged to stay off work or school for at least 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped.

You should also wash your hands frequently with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food.

It is also advised to disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated.

What to do if you fall ill?

There is no treatment so you just have to let it run its course

However, to ease symptoms you are advised to drink plenty fluids to avoid dehydration - more than usual.

You can also take paracetamol for any fever, aches and pains and should get plenty of rest.

Visiting your GP can put others at risk,so if you need advice first call NHS 24 on 111.