Contributed by: Priyaish Srivastava
Did you know already?
- Your stomach contains trillions of good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria promote your intestinal health
- Digestion does not begin in the stomach, but in the small intestine
- You can go upside down and eat your food. Gravity has no effect
- The intestine is also known as the “gut” of your body.second brain‘
What is norovirus?
The stomach is one of the most important organs in the body as it protects you from several viruses when food enters the stomach, and it is also home to about 70% of your total immune system. So everything you eat or drink has a direct impact on the wellbeing of your stomach, which affects the health of other organs in the body.
Stomach-related illnesses such as diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain are more common in winter. These diseases usually develop when the body becomes infected with a virus called the norovirus. Norovirus is also known as stomach flu or stomach virus, but the disease is not linked to influenza virus, which is a respiratory infection.
The medical term for norovirus is gastroenteritis, an intestinal infection that causes complications such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever. The virus spreads through the infected person’s feces and vomit, and anyone exposed to contaminated food or water can become infected with the virus. The virus can also spread by touching the face with the same hand that is used to touch an infected person or place / thing.
Noroviruses tend to develop genetically and produce multiple mutations that make them resistant to various disinfectants. This allows them to survive in both hot and cold temperatures and meet each person multiple times, but the symptoms manifested would be less severe each time.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through the most common symptoms of norovirus, causes and risk factors associated with norovirus, and the treatment and preventive measures to manage the condition.
Norovirus at a glance
Symptoms of norovirus
Do not neglect the manifestation of the following symptoms of norovirus:
- Nausea (it is the most common and the first symptom)
- stomach pain
- Loose or watery diarrhea
- Malaise and lack of energy
- Mild fever and chills
- Repeated episodes of body pain and headache
Until symptoms subside, the disease can become severe and cause sudden extreme discomfort with no warning signs. Symptoms can appear 12 to 48 hours after infection and usually last for 1 to 3 days. The infected person may also experience diarrhea, which may last more than 3 days. The virus can spread through feces and vomit for two weeks after the symptoms have subsided.
Causes of Norovirus & Risk Factors
Some of the most common causes of norovirus are:
- Contaminated food and water
- Eating in unsanitary places
- Ready meals such as sandwiches, cookies, salads, fruit or ice cream
- Close contact with someone infected with norovirus
Here are some factors that can potentially increase your risk of being affected by norovirus:
- A weak immune system
- Living in an unsanitary environment
- Stay in a place where many people gather
- Live in a common space such as nursing homes, hospitals, or retirement homes
Norovirus Treatment & Preventive Measures
There is no specific treatment for norovirus gastroenteritis. To get the condition under control, doctors aim to prevent dehydration and recommend medication to control symptoms and speed recovery.
Some preventive measures that can help treat the condition include:
- Eat a light diet consisting of easily digestible foods such as soups, toast, bananas, white rice, bread, and pasta
- Frequent hand washing with soap to reduce the risk of infection
- Keep the environment clean
- Avoid eating from unsanitary vendors and places
- Thoroughly washing fruits and vegetables to ensure that the foods you eat are clean
- Keep clothes and bedclothes clean
- Controlling the spread of the virus by staying at home or in a room (if you or someone is infected)
- Make sure the items used by the infected person are kept out of the reach of other people, especially children
- Avoid raw foods (especially non-vegetables) and have a water bottle handy if you travel to an unsanitary area
Remember noOrovirus is a stomach disease for which there is no specific cure, but it can be easily treated with the necessary preventive measures.
Although the condition is more common in winter, it can affect you at any other time of the year. To make sure your gut health is not affected by this virus, the first thing you should do is to take steps to boost immunity. If you experience the above symptoms, contact your doctor and take preventative measures to make sure your health is back to normal.
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