Norovirus—you don’t want it

What is Norovirus, anyway?  We hear about it every winter, as “the winter vomiting bug”, or “the stomach flu”.  We hear about it sweeping through schools, nursing homes, and cruise ships.

Norovirus causes vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.  Fever and headache can occur.

How do you get it?  It is transmitted by “fecal-oral” route, which basically means a person who has the infection touches food or other objects without adequate hand-washing after going to the bathroom.  Then another person consumes the food, or touches an object and then touches their mouth, contracting the virus.

Norovirus symptoms usually last 1-3 days.

While most people with Norovirus recover on their own, complications can occur such as severe dehydration.

Patients with Norovirus should try to take smalls sips of fluid, rest, and frequently wash their hands.

There are 685 million cases of Norovirus a year, and 200,000 deaths worldwide from the virus.

The infection is named after Norwalk, Ohio, which had a very large outbreak in 1968.



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