November 7, 2023
5 ways to give the ER the cold shoulder this winter
- Family Medicine
- Urgent Care
March 1, 2019 | Family Medicine
Norovirus is highly contagious and causes diarrhea and vomiting. It can affect you no matter how old you are and can be spread through contaminated water or food, direct contact with someone who is already infected or putting your hands in your mouth after touching a contaminated surface.
Common symptoms norovirus include:
Norovirus also causes acute gastroenteritis, which is inflammation of the intestines or the stomach. After initial exposure to the virus, most people exhibit symptoms anywhere from 12-48 hours later, and the virus typically lasts 1-3 days.
Although the virus doesn’t cause symptoms for long, it can still make a person severely ill. If you are vomiting and have diarrhea several times a day, for example, you can easily become dehydrated. The risk of dehydration is greater in older adults, young children and those who are already suffering from another illness.
If you have norovirus watch for signs of dehydration, such as dry throat and mouth, dizziness when you stand up and a decrease in urination. Dehydrated children may not have tears when they cry and be uncharacteristically fussy or sleepy. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should seek medical help.
Some people have an increased risk of contracting the virus. Children who attend a child care center or preschool, those who live in nursing homes or other close quarters and those who are traveling in public spaces are at higher risk. If you eat in a place with unsanitary procedures or have contact with someone who has the virus, you are also likely to get it.
Because norovirus is a virus, it cannot be treated with antibiotics and must run its course through the body instead. To prevent the spread of norovirus:
Those with norovirus are most contagious when they have symptoms of the virus and the first few days after recovery. Some studies suggest that norovirus can even be spread up to two weeks after the patient feels better.
If your symptoms are severe, call your doctor. Getting medical attention is especially important if you are extremely dehydrated, as severe dehydration can lead to hospitalization.
“Norovirus.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/index.html
“Norovirus Infection.” Mayo Clinic.
The Live Better Team
November 7, 2023
October 3, 2023
September 26, 2023
July 31, 2023
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.