The infection of norovirus is commonly called “stomach flu”. To your surprise, this is nowhere close to influenza. The norovirus infection spreads like anything and leaves you weak and sick.
Although it has no different symptoms most patients complain of vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. All these symptoms are generally regarded as gastroenteritis.
Are norovirus gastro and food poisoning the same?
Norovirus gastroenteritis is not what you call food poisoning. It is different and you may get it from restaurants, catered events, school, office, any social gathering and even from the child care centers.
Norovirus is one of the most common foodborne gastroenteritis in the United States. It is a nasty infection that affects millions of people every year. Many of these people often rush to emergency rooms and a huge number from these are hospitalized.
Just like all other viral diseases i.e. influenza, the risk is maximum for young adults and old age people. It may also worsen the condition of people with chronic medical issues.
How does a person get norovirus?
Norovirus is an extremely contagious virus. It means only a few microscopic germs are able to make you sick. You are much likely to get norovirus through following ways.
Direct contact with an infected person: the most common method of its spread is when an infected person comes in contact with a healthy individual.
Consuming affected food or water: The virus can also spread from the field where the food grows. It is also present in the area where an infected person is preparing food. This contaminated food also transmits the virus.
Contact with contaminated surfaces: when you come in physical contact with any contaminated surface and then put your hand on your mouth, it will transmit the virus. Remember that the virus can spread from anything like dishware, clothes, sheets and even towels.
The symptoms of norovirus take one or two days to express itself after getting the infection.
How to treat norovirus?
Just like all other viral diseases, using antibiotics is of no use on norovirus infection. It is only efficient on bacteria and thus it will not benefit you in any regard.
The only way to treat norovirus is to rest and increase your fluid intake. The disease will be at peak for 2-3 days and then it will gradually end on its own. However, you will be contagious for several days even after the disappearance of symptoms.
The patients of norovirus are at extreme risk of dehydration. The risk is more for young children and immunocompromised people. The common symptoms of the disease include
- Reduced urination
- Dry mouth
- Dry throat
- Feeling dizzy when standing up
- Bloating or fuller feeling
- Fever and body ache
In case you suspect that these symptoms are hitting you, get yourself checked by a medical professional. If you have a high fever, nausea or diarrhea, contact your nearest healthcare as soon as possible.
Is there a way to prevent norovirus?
Currently, there is no vaccine of norovirus. But it is possible to stop its spread by following the safety precautions such as;
- Wash your hands frequently with an antibacterial soap
- Wash fruits and vegetables before using
- Thoroughly cook your food
- Take rest
- Avoid public interaction when infected
If anyone around you is sick, take special care. Clean the surfaces with a disinfectant even if someone is sick or not. Don’t forget to clean often neglected areas doorknobs, sinks, toilets, portable devices, and furniture. Wash all your affected clothes and beddings with a disinfectant detergent.