What is A Norovirus?
Norovirus was originally referred to as Norwalk virus, where the outbreak was first confirmed in 1972.
Norovirus is considered the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis (diarrheal and vomiting disease) worldwide.
The virus spreads easily through food and drink and can have a major impact on public health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S., the average norovirus causes 19 million to 21 million cases in the U.S. per year.
Even so, cases of norovirus infection generally occur in the winter. Therefore, people also call it the “winter vomiting virus infection”.
It is known that this virus can be transmitted for up to 8 weeks. That is, there is a possibility that a person can pass it on to others.
However, usually this infection decreases over time.
In most cases, a person can return to work or do activities after being symptom-free for 48 hours.
However, those who work as food waiters are generally encouraged to quarantine for 72 hours before serving returning customers.
What causes norovirus?
Norovirus is a virus that exists in the surrounding environment and can infect to cause disease through the disease.
- Direct contact with an infected person
- Consuming contaminated food or water
- Touching the mouth with hands contaminated with Norovirus.
Norovirus is easily spread through water and food before entering the human body. Therefore, water and food must be completely clean before consumption or use for daily purposes.
Norovirus Risk Factors
In addition, there are also a number of risk factors that allow us to contract norovirus, namely:
- Eat in a menu where food is not handled properly
- Visit a daycare center
- Living in a nearby place, such as in a nursing home
- Stay in a hotel, resort, cruise ship, or a place with many people in close proximity
- Come into contact with someone who has a norovirus infection.
Symptoms of norovirus
Norovirus infection in humans is characterized by several symptoms, namely:
- Stomach aches
- Pain all over the body.
Those infected with Norovirus will feel very weak, vomit, defecate several times a day. Norovirus causes inflammation of the intestines called acute gastroenteritis, symptoms will appear 12-48 days after exposure and usually the condition gets better within 1-3 days.
Treatment of norovirus
Unlike other viruses, norovirus does not respond to antibiotics designed to eradicate bacteria. There are no antiviral drugs that can treat norovirus, but in healthy people, the disease will go away on its own within 1 to 3 days.
In its treatment, you need to pay attention to the following:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Eat easily digestible foods
- Stay home and rest
- Take anti-diarrheal medicine if necessary
How to prevent norovirus
A clean and healthy lifestyle is an effective prevention effort against what is Norovirus. Here’s an example of a clean lifestyle:
- Wash hands with soap and running water before meals, prepare dishes, and after using the toilet or changing diapers.
- Clean all food before consumption with clean water and cook until completely cooked, including for shelled seafood.
- Do not prepare food or treatment for others until symptoms stop and do not infect others.
- Wash clothes or other equipment exposed to vomit or feces well. When washing should use gloves to reduce the risk of transmission.
Norovirus is usually still at risk of infecting the surrounding environment, although the condition of people who are sick has improved and healthier. Therefore, those infected with Norovirus are advised to minimize contact with the surrounding environment, water, and food for up to two days to reduce the chances of transmission.
For most people, norovirus infection usually goes away within a few days and is not life-threatening.
But, in some cases, especially children, and the elderly, norovirus infection can lead to severe dehydration.
As for the symptoms of a person experiencing severe dehydration, namely, fatigue, dry mouth and throat, lethargy, dizziness, and the quality of urine decreases.