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| Last Updated:13/01/2022

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What is Norovirus?


          Noroviruses are a group of non-enveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses (previously known as Norwalk-like viruses) that can cause gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestine which belongs to the family Calicivirida. This infection is often mistakenly referred to as the “stomach flu”. Norovirus is not related to the flu (influenza), which is a common respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus.


             Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. People of all ages can get infected and sick with norovirus. It is probably norovirus, a common virus that is not related to the flu. Norovirus is the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea, and food borne illness.


What are the symptoms?


             Most common symptoms of norovirus infection include Diarrhea, Vomiting, Nausea, Stomach pain. Less common symptoms can include low-grade fever or chills, headache, and muscle aches. A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. Most people with norovirus illness get better within 1 to 3 days. The illness typically comes on suddenly. The infected person may feel very sick and vomit often, sometimes without warning, many times a day. This can lead to dehydration, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses. The stmptoms of dehydration include decrease in urination, dry mouth and throat,feeling dizzy when standing up etc. Sometimes people infected with norovirus have no symptoms at all, but can still pass the virus to others. Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines. This is called acute gastroenteritis.


How long does it last?


                Most people recover in 1 or 2 days and have no long-term health effects. Dehydration can be a concern in the very young, the elderly, or people with weakened immune systems. Occasionally infected people may experience milder symptoms for a week or more.


How is it spread?


                Noroviruses are very contagious. Norovirus spreads very easily and quickly in different ways. They are found in the stool (feces) or vomit of infected people. From there, noroviruses are transferred to food, water, or surfaces by the hands of infected people who have not washed adequately after using the bathroom. People become infected with norovirus by:


                • Norovirus spreads through contaminated food

                • Norovirus spreads through contaminated water

               • Norovirus spreads through sick people and contaminated surfaces

               • Eating food or drinking liquids contaminated by an infected person.


How to prevent Norovirus infections?


You can help protect yourself and others from norovirus by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water and following other simple prevention tips.


             • Practice proper hand hygiene

             • Handle and prepare food safely

             • When you are sick, do not prepare food or care for others

             • Clean and disinfect surfaces

             • Wash laundry thoroughly


How You Treat Norovirus?


              There is no specific medicine to treat people with norovirus illness. If you have norovirus illness, you should drink plenty of liquids to replace fluid lost from vomiting and diarrhea. This will help prevent dehydration. Dehydration can lead to serious problems. Severe dehydration may require hospitalization for treatment with fluids given through your vein (intravenous or IV fluids). Watch for signs of dehydration in children who have norovirus illness. Children who are dehydrated may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.


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