All you Should know About Norovirus Outbreak

Norovirus is an intestinal infection marked by diarrhea, cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever.

Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, is one of the most common causes of gastroenteritis.

This infection is characterized by non-bloody diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, fever, or headaches.

Symptoms of Norovirus infection

Symptoms of this infection usually develop 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to the virus. The symptoms may include dehydration, especially in the young, and the old.

Some people with norovirus infection may not show any signs or symptoms. However, they are still contagious and may spread the virus to others. The signs and symptoms of norovirus infection may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Watery or loose diarrhea
  • Feeling ill
  • Low-grade fever
  • Muscle pain

Causes of Norovirus infection

Noroviruses are highly contagious meaning that the norovirus infection can easily spread from one person to another.

The virus can be shed in stool and vomit. And can be transmitted to others from the time you first have symptoms of the illness till several days after you recover.

Noroviruses can survive on surfaces and objects for days or weeks.

The major ways you can contact this virus include:

  1. Close contact with an infected person
  2. Eating contaminated food
  3. Drinking contaminated water
  4. Eating with your hand after your hand has been in contact with a contaminated surface or object
  5. Eating food has been handled by a person with norovirus infection or the food has been in contact with contaminated water or surfaces
  6. Staying in hotels, resorts, cruise ships, or other destinations with infected people in close quarters.

Prevention of Norovirus

According to the NHS information due to Norovirus being a non-enveloped virus, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not effective against the Norovirus.

Noroviruses are difficult to kill because of their ability to withstand hot and cold temperatures and many disinfectants.

Ways of prevention include

  • Wash your hands properly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the toilet or changing a diaper, and also before eating or drinking. Since alcohol-based hand sanitizers aren’t as effective against noroviruses as using soap and water.
  • Avoid contaminated food and water, including food that could have been prepared by an infected person.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating.
  • Cook seafood properly before ingesting it.
  • Always disinfect surfaces to avoid contamination. Wear gloves and use a chlorine bleach solution or a disinfectant that is effective against noroviruses.
  • Apply caution while traveling. Especially if you are traveling to areas with a high risk of norovirus infection, consider eating only cooked foods, drinking only hot or carbonated beverages, and avoiding food sold by street vendors.

Diagnosis of Norovirus

Usually, Norovirus infection is diagnosed based on the symptoms, but can also be identified from a stool sample. If someone has a weakened immune system or other certain medical conditions, healthcare providers might recommend a stool test to confirm the presence of norovirus.

Treatment

In most cases, norovirus infection usually clears up within a few days and is not life-threatening.

However, for some people most especially young children, older adults, and even persons with weakened immune systems or other medical conditions or who are pregnant, norovirus infection can be severe.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment for norovirus yet. But there are measures that could be taken for supportive management such as drinking sufficient fluids or intravenous fluids Oral rehydration solutions are the preferred fluids to drink, although other drinks without caffeine or alcohol can help.

Over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication and medication may be recommended by health care providers to help reduce nausea.

Norovirus Outbreak

Reports have it that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), alongside the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and state and local partners, have investigated a multistate outbreak of norovirus infection linked to raw oysters from British Columbia.

The FDA has also confirmed that potentially contaminated raw oysters harvested in the south and central parts of Baynes Sound, British Columbia with harvest starting as early as January 31, 2022, and were distributed to restaurants and retailers in CA, CO, FL, HI, IL, MA, MN, NJ, NV, NY, OR, TX, and WA.

The FDA conducted this trace-forward investigation to determine where the raw oysters were distributed and to ensure they are removed from the food supply.

Oysters can cause illness if eaten raw, especially in persons with compromised immune systems and food contaminated with norovirus may look, smell, and taste normal. So whoever consumes raw oysters or shellfish is at risk of contracting norovirus.

192 persons have been reported to have contracted the virus infection as of June 1, 2022.

However, this number is an estimate based on the information gotten at this time. And CDC is still working with state and local partners to ascertain a more accurate number of infections in this outbreak.

Egbujor Victor Chinedu
He Is Just A Pro Blogger Who Invests his time in Blogging and Web Designing ... Student, Writer...

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