Norovirus (Winter Vomiting Bug):
Norovirus is a single stranded RNA containing, non protein enveloped virus, causing Diarrhea, Vomiting, Stomach cramps. The virus causes inflammation of both stomach and the intestines (Gastroenteritis) leading to these symptoms.
It is also called Winter Vomiting Bug as it spreads very easily during winter. A new strain of Norovirus is sweeping all across the world from Australia to Americas. It is also called stomach bug as it causes gastroenteritis.
Norovirus is a highly infectious disease, it spreads from one person to another through contaminated hands and surfaces very quickly. Close contact to one another highly increases the risk of infection. Compared to many other viruses, transmission of Norovirus is very quick and efficient. Fewer than 20 virus particles are enough to cause a new infection.
Once Norovirus gains entry into the body, it enters the intestines, where it begins multiplying. Symptoms appear after the virus particles replicate enough and usually symptoms occur about 2 to 3 days. It is usually self limiting disease and regresses in a while, but could rarely become an emergency medical condition.
The virus is highly persistent and it could survive from 12 hours to few months outside the human body.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Stomach cramps
- Muscle pain
Most of the symptoms of Norovirus are trivial, however, Diarrhea may lead to excessive loss of fluids from the body, resulting in dehydration.
Just like other viruses, Norovirus does not respond to antibiotics. Symptomatic treatment is the only choice of treatment.
Plenty of fluids must be given to prevent the effects of dehydration.
Since there is no direct treatment for treating this disease, prevention of disease is of utmost importance to prevent its transmission. Suggested measures to prevent the spread of the virus are:
- Promoting personal hygiene
- Avoid sharing towels
- Educating people regarding the diesease
- Use of disinfectants to eliminate viruses
- Washing hands often
- Washing fruits and vegetables before consumption, etc