Norovirus infection is a highly contagious infection caused by the norovirus and can very easily spread through places like classrooms, cruise ships, closed quarters, nursing homes and other similar crowded places.(1)
What Leads To Norovirus Infection?
Norovirus is an immensely contagious virus and spreads through the feces of humans and animals that are infected. The causes of norovirus infection may include-
- Consumption of contaminated or infected food
- Consumption of infected water
- Coming in contact with an infected object and surface and then putting the same hand in the mouth without proper washing
- Coming in close contact with an infected person
It is extremely difficult to get rid of norovirus because it is quite tough and resistant to most disinfectants. It can also withstand extreme hot and cold temperatures.
Can Norovirus Infection Be Cured?
There is no designated treatment for norovirus infection. However, it usually gets better on its own within 1 to 2 days. The recovery from this virus greatly depends on your immunity. In most cases, the infection gets better within a few days. It is advisable to replenish lost hydration by drinking enough fluids. If unable to drink, intravenous administration fluids might be required to restore the fluid balance.(3)
The list of symptoms caused by the norovirus infection includes-
- Nausea or queasiness
- Vomiting or retching
- Cramps or pain in the abdomen
- Cramps or pain in the muscles
- Loose motions or watery stools
- Extreme tiredness or fatigue
- Malaise or uneasiness or restlessness
- Fever of a low degree
Prevention Of Norovirus Infection
Norovirus infection is an extremely contagious infection. Moreover, you do not acquire immunity for the same if you get affected once. You may again contact it anytime in life. So that the infection should not spread, some steps or precautionary measures can be taken These may include.
- Washing the hands properly with soap and water, especially after using the toilet or attending to a baby’s diaper. Remember, norovirus is not affected by alcohol-based sanitizers and can also withstand very hot and cold temperatures. It is best to wash hands with soap and water.
- Evade eating at unhygienic and unclean places or food prepared with unhygienic methods
- Avoid eating food cooked by someone who is already infected with norovirus
- Properly clean fruits and vegetables each time before eating. Follow this especially for seafood.
- Get rid of the vomit and stools effectively and immediately.
- The areas that you think might be contaminated, should be cleaned thoroughly with a solution of chlorine bleach, wearing gloves for safety
- Avoid going to work. Avoid sending children to school or daycare
- Also, avoid traveling, as you may still pass on the infection even though your symptoms have reduced significantly.(2)
Lifestyle Changes And Home Remedies For Norovirus Infection
If there are young children in the family, it is helpful to stock an oral rehydration solution. Sports drinks can serve the purpose for adults. It is best to avoid drinks and fluids that contain high amounts of sugars, like glucose, fruit juices, cold drinks etc. as these things can worsen diarrhea.
Consume a bland diet and in smaller portions, until the problem is resolved. Foods that you can eat while infected by norovirus are soups, starches like potatoes, noodles and cereals like rice and crackers, banana, curd or yogurt, boiled vegetables, etc.(3)
The norovirus infection spreads through affected water and food and can also spread easily through contact with the infected person or surface. Norovirus infection gets better on its own within one to three days. No treatment is usually required for this infection. However, you may carry the virus in your stools for up to two weeks after the symptoms start getting better. It is better to stay at home for a few more days, lest it spreads.