Norovirus is in the season once again so you better protect yourself as much as you can because this disease is highly contagious. You can easily get infected and the symptoms are really nasty.
Although this disease is present throughout the year, it peaks around the end of January to March – which is right about now. While it is commonly referred to as the “winter vomiting bug” or “stomach flu,” the virus is actually different and not related to the bug that causes influenza.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the virus attacks a person’s stomach and intestines that is why people often mistake it as stomach flu. Meanwhile, even though it is not the same as influenza, this virus mutates, meaning the body does not develop immunity over it just like the flu.
If you contract the virus once, there is a chance you will get infected again. And this ailment is so vicious and unpleasant that if you already had it before, you most likely will not want to be sick with it again.
Ways To Get Infected
One of worst things about this ailment is that it is really, really contagious. In fact, around 20 million people in America are reported to be infected with the virus each year.
Contamination, especially in food and water, is the main cause for the spreading of the virus, and it spreads easily. Not only does it get transmitted in contact with the infected person but you can also get infected by being in contact with the surfaces that person touched in the last week since the virus can live up that long.
Using the public toilet is also a high risk since flushing can make the virus become airborne. You should also stay away from people who have the “bug” as they can be contagious up to two weeks after their symptoms subside.
Signs and Symptoms of Norovirus
Getting the norovirus can be easily mistaken as stomach flu since it bears the same symptoms even though they are different and unrelated diseases. The ailment lasts up to an average of 44 hours and is usually, but not all the times, short-lived albeit really unpleasant.
- Stomach Pain
- Extreme Nausea
- Body and Head Ache
- Dehydration in more severe cases
How To Prevent It
No one is safe from the virus as anyone, from the child to the elderly, can be infected. With that, the most important way to protect yourself is to stay clean.
Wash your hands all the time. Clean your things, especially your kitchen utensils. Moreover, go the extra mile and use hot water and bleach as some cleaning products are sometimes not enough.
If you know someone who is infected with norovirus, stay away. If you are infected, stay at home to avoid passing it onto others.