3d2266f5df484d1a91a42edc1b411da6 Norovirus Cases Are Skyrocketing: What You Need to Know - Preventio2023

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Norovirus Cases Are Skyrocketing: What You Need to Know - Preventio2023


  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain: the disease is contagious (and very unpleasant)

Cases of norovirus, a common and contagious virus that can cause vomiting and diarrhea, are on the rise in the United States, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Norovirus is spreading elsewhere; In England, the number of infections is 66% higher than  average for this time of year, with the biggest increase among people aged 65 and over.

Norovirus outbreaks often occur in places where people are in close proximity and touch the same surfaces, such as day care centers and cruise ships, said Dr Camille Sabella, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. But anyone, anywhere can get infected with the virus Here's what you need to know about symptoms, treatment and prevention


What is norovirus?  

Norovirus is a viral infection that inflames the intestines, said Dr Sabella. People  with norovirus usually experience nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting; they may also

 experience stomach pain Some people have a fever Symptoms usually disappear after one to three days, said Dr Karen Krueger, an infectious disease specialist at Northwestern Medicine "It's fast in  and fast out," Dr Sabella added

 For most people, the disease is usually mild, although extremely unpleasant However, norovirus can cause severe dehydration in young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions. In rare cases, people may be hospitalized or die


How does norovirus spread?

 The virus is highly contagious: infected people can shed billions of norovirus particles, according to the CDC, and  fewer than 100 particles are needed to make you sick Also, people can continue to spread the virus even after  feeling better, said Dr Sabella; in some cases, they can transmit the virus for up to two weeks after  symptoms disappear. In fact, people are most contagious when they develop symptoms and  immediately after they disappear.

Norovirus can spread in several insidious ways The most common way is through close contact with an infected person, said Dr Jennifer Lighter, an infectious disease specialist and hospital epidemiologist at NYU Langone Health For example,

 parents can get sick after changing a diaper and then touching their mouth or swallowing small, often invisible, airborne particles that are passed on by  a vomiting baby. "You see the whole family getting sick at the same time," Dr Lighter said You can also get norovirus by shaking hands with someone who is sick  and then touching their mouth 

The virus can also spread through surfaces: If an infected person vomits and touches a doorknob,  then you reach for that doorknob and touch your mouth (which happens more  than you  think), there's a  chance you'll get norovirus It's unclear how long norovirus can survive on surfaces, said Dr Sabella.

Norovirus can also contaminate food and water, said Dr Sabella. For example, infected people may have small traces of feces on their hands and then touch food, or a septic tank may leak into a well Norovirus is the most common cause of foodborne illness in the country, said Dr Kruger.

How do you know if it's norovirus or food
 poisoning (or something else)? 

Most of the time, you won't notice a difference, Dr Sabella said And generally speaking, unless you're sick enough to go to the hospital, your doctor won't usually recommend  a diagnostic test because symptom management is generally similar for all types of stomach flu.

  • There are  tests of stool samples available for PCR, said Dr Krueger, but doctors use those tests only in rare 
  • cases.

How to treat norovirus؟

  •   There is no cure for norovirus, said Dr lighter; it only takes a few days for the infection to clear. However, there are strategies to control the signs.
  • Most importantly, getting enough fluids is very

important, as fluid loss from vomiting and  diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which in turn can lead to serious complications and possible hospitalization Water can help keep you hydrated, but you may

want to drink an electrolyte drink, especially if you're vomiting, said Dr Sabella  to prevent electrolyte imbalance 

How can you tell whether you're getting

 enough water?  Dr Sabella said that

 babies often need to wear wet diapers Children and adults should urinate regularly, and their urine should be clear, bright yellow, said Dr Kruger. Beware of children and the elderly, she added If they are acting lethargic, it could be a sign that they are severely dehydrated and  you should seek medical attention

Don't force yourself to eat if you're still throwing up a lot, said Dr Sabella, but once the vomiting subsides, stick to bland foods like bananas and toast until you feel better

 Can you get norovirus multiple times?

 YES. (Sorry.) There are many strains of norovirus, so it's possible to get multiple infections. After you recover, you're likely to have  short-term protection from the virus, said Dr Sabella, however, because norovirus moves through the body so quickly, your immune system doesn't have time to build up long-lasting protection against it Fortunately, 

subsequent bouts of the virus tend to be less severe if they occur in the same season, Dr Sabella.

 How disgusting. How to prevent norovirus infection? 

The most important thing you can do is wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, Dr Sabella said Dr. Dr. Don't use hand sanitizers or alcohol sprays like Purell instead of washing your hands because they aren't as effective as soap and water. Take it easy.

Fruits and vegetables are common sources of transmission, so you should wash them before consuming, said Dr Kruger.

If you're around or caring for a sick relative, clean common surfaces like doorknobs and bathroom faucets, said Dr Sabella. Most household disinfectants don't kill norovirus, Dr Lighter said, so be sure to use bleach 

Preventive measures are especially important when the virus is rampant Norovirus typically spreads between November and April, said Dr Krueger, although it can grow year-round However, although norovirus is highly contagious, doctors stress that it is relatively mild and causes most people no more than a few days of discomfort.

"It's not really something I'm panicking about," said Dr Kruger.