Norovirus is also known as the Winter Vomiting Bug. It is an extremely contagious form of gastroenteritis that has over 25 different strains. It is possible to get norovirus multiple times in your life. With the second wave of COVID happening, AFC Urgent Care New Britain is here to help keep you safe. Learn more about the ways to prevent catching norovirus this flu season.
Causes & Symptoms
The cause of norovirus typically comes from contaminated food or water. It is highly contagious between people, so it is very likely to catch it from close contact with someone who is infected. Using the bathroom right after someone has vomited is a way to catch norovirus, as the virus particles are likely still in the air. The virus can withstand particularly hot or cold temperatures, so it is rather challenging to get rid of. Symptoms of norovirus include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Sometimes, fever with or without body aches
Symptoms typically start between 12 to 24 hours after exposure and can last up to three days after. While there is no true risk from norovirus in healthy adults, the potential risk comes from dehydration. It is possible to become dehydrated quickly, so it’s important to look out for those signs. These include fatigue, decrease in urine, and dizziness.
Treatment & Prevention
The easiest way to prevent norovirus is by washing your hands frequently. While this may seem simple, norovirus germs are inhaled through the nose or mouth, so washing your hands ahead of time can stop the spread. Additionally, washing fruits and vegetables before cooking or eating them and shellfish and seafood to their proper internal temperatures can help kill off the virus. Avoid anyone who is sick with the virus, and disinfect any surfaces or objects they may come in contact with.
There is no specific medication that helps with the symptoms of norovirus. The illness typically resolves itself within three days of exposure. Getting rest and drinking plenty of water can help keep you hydrated and speed up the recovery process. Eat soft foods such as soup, starches, bananas, and yogurt. These foods will be easier on the stomach and may help relieve vomiting. Always try to replace fluids in your body, as severe dehydration may result in hospitalization. If you think you or someone else are experiencing symptoms of dehydration, seek medical attention immediately.
For more information or any questions, please call AFC Urgent Care New Britain at (860) 357-6899.