Norovirus

17 July 2018
Comments: 0
17 July 2018, Comments: 0

The norovirus is a highly contagious stomach and intestinal virus. It spreads via direct or indirect contact with an infected individual.

What are the signs?

The indications of infection typically start between 12-48 hours after exposure to the virus. The signs can range from minor to severe.

Some of the usual symptoms of norovirus include:

  • Abdominal pain or cramps

    Norovirus

    The signs typically last between 24-72 hours. A doctor must be seen if the symptoms are persistent or if the stools are streaked with blood.

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Low-grade fever
  • Chills
  • Generalized body aches

The signs typically last between 24-72 hours. A doctor must be seen if the symptoms are persistent or if the stools are streaked with blood. If diarrhea is severe, it can lead to dehydration which is considered as a medical emergency.

Management of norovirus

There is special treatment for norovirus. The treatment is mainly supportive with the objective of preventing dehydration.

Some of the self-care measures include:

  • Adequate rest
  • Increased intake of fluids – this involves replacement of electrolytes such as oral hydration solutions especially among infants and children. As for older children and adults, sports drinks or broths can be given.
  • Diet – infants must continue with formula or breastfeeding. As for adults and children, suitable choices include rice, soups, plain noodles, pasta, eggs, fresh fruit, potatoes, yogurt and cooked vegetables.

An over-the-counter anti-diarrheal can be given if there is no fever, bloody stool or severe diarrhea.

What is the outlook?

The symptoms generally last around 12-48 hours after exposure to the virus. Among healthy adults, the norovirus is not typically serious. The signs might last for 1-3 days and most can fully recover.

Infants, elderly and those who have a weakened immune system might have a longer recovery period.

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