This virus is responsible for the annual hospitalization of 56,000-71,000 patients in the U.S. every year. Norovirus is a winter vomiting bug that causes symptoms like gastroenteritis, diarrhea, and sickness.
If you don’t want to get caught up with Norovirus, read the guide to know all the possible symptoms, causes, and preventive measures needed to be taken.
What is Norovirus?
It’s a term that sums up a group of viruses that is responsible for severe diarrhea and vomiting. It’s very common and can be spread through contaminated food, contaminated surfaces, and infected people. It is sometimes known as “Stomach Flu”.
Symptoms of Norovirus
Nausea is the very first symptom of Norovirus. Other symptoms include:
- Watery or loose diarrhea
- Abdominal cramps
- Stomach pain
- Body aches
- Fever and chills (mild)
- Feeling lethargic and unwell
During the illness, the patient can experience vomiting multiple times throughout the day. The CDC reveals the symptoms and signs of Norovirus last 1-3 days however, diarrhea may last more than 3 days.
Cause of Norovirus
Norovirus can infect people in many ways. For example, the individual might get it through close contact with a sick person or by touching contaminated food, surfaces, eating.
In the US, Norovirus has become one of the biggest causes of illness due to contaminated food. It spread when infected food worker touches the food before serving it. Some of the notable foods include seafood and oysters.
Following complications may occur- dyspepsia, constipation, malnutrition, and reflux in older adults.
Also Read: Tips To Protect Your Family From Zika Virus
At present, no specific therapy exists however doctors recommend eating a light diet that can be easily digested. For example, foods like soups, bread, rice, and pasta can help.
Oral rehydration fluids like Kao Lectrolyt, Oralyte, Naturalyte, Pedialyte seem to be beneficial as well. As dehydration becomes frequent due to Norovirus, receiving fluids intravenously becomes vital.
Norovirus is contagious and frequent in places where the gathering is high. Most of the cases occur during the winter. Here are some of the everyday precautions you can take,
- Wash vegetables and fruits completely
- Wash hands often with soap & water
- Cook seafood thoroughly
- Clean surfaces frequently with bleach-based household cleaner
- Wash bedclothes and clothing with hot soapy water
- Use disposable towel
- Avoid uncooked foods and buffets
- Drink boiled water & ORS solution
- Avoid eating stale food
- Keep the toilet seat clean
Norovirus can survive even in freezing temperatures; however, keeping food hygiene reduces the chances of foodborne transmission.
Immediately visit your doctor in case you find the symptoms of Norovirus.