Norovirus Infection - Health Center
By Refadoc, Posted on : Monday, 21 September 2015 - 12:35 pm IST
say its fatal for Infants
Norovirus infection causes an abrupt onset of rigorous vomiting and diarrhoea. The virus is very contagious in nature and spreads via contaminated food and water. The virus can also be infected via a close contact with an infected person.
Norovirus is very common amongst closed and crowded environments such as hospitals, schools, ships and nursing homes. Often, the symptoms start appearing within 24-48 hours after the initial exposure. The symptoms for the condition tend to last for one to three days and in most of the cases, people recover on their own without any treatment. However, Pediatricians suggest that infants, older people and people suffering from an underlying condition may be severely dehydrated and require immediate medical attention.
Causes of Norovirus Infection:
Noroviruses are very contagious and after often shed along through the faeces of the infected person infant or animals. Some of the major methods of transmission for the virus are as follows;
- Consuming contaminated food
- Consuming contaminated water
- Being in direct contact with someone who is suffering from a norovirus infection
- Getting in touch with something which has been contaminated with the virus
It is very difficult to get rid of and to wipe out the norovirus as they can withstand a wide range of extreme temperatures. These viruses are often repellent to most disinfectants.
Signs and Symptoms of Norovirus Infection:
The following are the major signs and symptoms of Norovirus Infection:
- Pain and cramps in the abdomen
- Watery or loose diarrhoea
- Pain in the muscles
The signs and symptoms for the disease tend to appear within 24-48 hours after the initial exposure to the virus. The symptoms may last for one to three days. The affected person tends to shed away the virus in the faeces for up to three days after the recovery.
However, some people may not show any signs or symptoms for the disease at all. It is necessary to seek medical help if the patient develops diarrhoea which does not go away after a week. Also, it is important to seek medical help if you experience the following symptoms:
- Severe vomiting
- Blood in the stools
- Pain in the abdomen
- Severe dehydration
Tests and Diagnosis of Norovirus:
The diagnosis of the virus is greatly dependent on the symptoms of the patient. Noroviruses can be easily examined and identified with the help of a stool test. If the immune system of the patient has been previously compromised due to any other health problem, the doctor may recommend a stool test in order to check for the presence of the norovirus.
Treatment and Drugs for Norovirus Infection:
There is no specific treatment for the infection, hence Pediatricians are extremely wary about babies contracting this disease. The recovery from the infection is greatly dependent on the present health of the patient. In most cases, the illness tends to resolve on its own within a few days.
However, it is crucial to replace the amount of fluids which have been lost by the patient. If the patient is unable to drink enough fluids, it is important to provide the fluids intravenously.
The doctor may also prescribe over the counter anti diarrhoea medications to patients under the age of 65. For infants, immediate medical attention by an experienced
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