Norovirus infection is one of the commonest causes of acute gastroenteritis in the US. It is caused by norovirus and spreads greatly and very easily. Affected food and water are the main causes of the spread of this infection. However, it can also easily spread through contact with the affected person or surface.(1,2)
Coping Methods For Norovirus Infection
Norovirus infection can make you miserable for a couple of days, maybe three. In a few cases, the symptoms may last up to or beyond two weeks. However, they get resolved on their own most times. You should start feeling better within three days of the starting of symptoms. That said, coping with the norovirus infection, even for as short a period of time as three days, can be quite challenging, especially when there are symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
These methods may help you in coping with norovirus infection:
Take enough rest. You may get excessively tired due to the vomiting and loose motions when you have norovirus infection. You may also start a headache and muscle cramps. It is best to take rest and let your body cells recover and repair themselves from the trauma. The body can fight better if it takes the rest it needs.
Stay hydrated. You tend to lose a lot of body fluids as a result of vomiting and diarrhea. Keep replenishing the fluids with soups, broths, oral rehydration solution, sports drink etc. do not consume sweet drinks and fluids like glucose, aerated and caffeinated drinks, juices etc. excess sugar can worsen the symptoms
Eat a non-spicy and bland diet when you have norovirus infection. Hot and spicy food can irritate your digestive system. Eat non-fatty and alkaline foods, fats and acids can worsen the symptoms as well.
Avoid going to the workplace. Especially so, if your work is related to food handling. Prevent small kids from going to school or daycare, as the chances are that they may infect others, even if they seem normal.
Wash the hands completely each time you puke or pass motions and also before touching any kind of food.
Keep a disposable plastic bag nearby to facilitate puking and also easy disposal of the same.(1,2,3)
Home Remedies To Help Relieve Symptoms Of Norovirus Infection
Some natural remedies may help in relieving your symptoms of norovirus infection. These may include.(3)
Ginger And Peppermint Tea: Ginger can help in relieving nausea and the loss of appetite while mint can soothe your stomach upset. These two can be combined and infused together to make tea or, can also be had separately as ginger tea and mint tea. This tea can also help in gas and bloating.
Chamomile: Chamomile helps in relaxing the muscles. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile tea can help in relieving stomach cramps, nausea, bloating, gas in many people.(3)
Prevention Of Norovirus Infection
Infections like norovirus can be arrested from spreading by following a good hygiene routine.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water before eating or preparing every meal. Alcohol-based sanitizers do not offer as much protection as soap and water
- Wash your foods like fruits, vegetables, and seafood thoroughly before consumption
- Wash your hands every time you visit a restroom or attend to a baby’s toilet needs.
- Dispose any infected material meticulously and carefully, without disturbing it much, lest it spreads
- Use a solution of chlorine bleach to wipe off affected surfaces(2)
Norovirus infection circulates easily and greatly, through an affected person, surfaces, food and water. Usually, there is no treatment required to treat this infection. It subsides on its own within 2 to 3 days. However, you can be contagious for a few days even after the symptoms have reduced completely. It is better to avoid going to work or sending affected kids to school for a few more days after the symptoms subside.