How is Norovirus Passed From Person to Person and Why is it so Contagious ?

© Dave Parker

© Dave Parker

Imagine being on vacation when a wave of diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps start taking over. Not exactly the idea of a fun vacation. Noroviruses is responsible for sending a number of the passengers aboard cruise ships heading for the bathroom and making the entire ship return to port before its time.
When you get back to dry land, this virus can impact the health of anyone that comes into contact with it. More than half of all the food-borne diseases occur because of the Norovirus. This virus is the main reason why adults end up with diarrhea and the second main reason why children do.

Causes of the Noroviruses
People end up becoming infected with this virus whenever they drink liquids or eat food that was contaminated. Some outbreaks are associated with undercooked or raw oysters as well as raw vegetables and fruit. Another common way to get infected is by touching a surface or object that was previously infected with the virus then touching your eyes, mouth or nose.

This virus tends to thrive on cruise ships, restaurants, day-care centers, nursing homes and various other places where the quarters are close. Whenever you are in a tight spot, it makes this virus easily transferable between individuals. It can also withstand extreme temperature changes and various surfaces.

Once an individual has been infected with the virus, it can quickly go from one person to another just by using contaminated utensils, sharing food, close contact and shaking hands. For those with a weak immune system, it makes it really simple to catch the virus.

Symptoms Signaling a Norovirus Infection
If you were to come down with this infection, you might go from feeling wonderful to feeling horrible within a couple hours of being exposed to the virus. Common symptoms are vomiting, nausea, watery diarrhea and cramping. While the aforementioned symptoms are the most common, others include fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, chills and a low-grade fever.

Even though the majority of symptoms aren’t serious, the vomiting and diarrhea can end up causing your body to deplete all of its natural fluids. In turn, you will find yourself dehydrated. Elderly individuals and children are the most prone to diarrhea, as well as becoming dehydrated. If you are dealing with the common symptoms of this virus, your doctor can perform a stool test to figure out if you have it or not. The diagnosis for the condition is normally made based on your symptom alone as the virus is usually over within 2 or 3 days.

Preventing the Infection from Occurring
One of the main keys in preventing the infection from occurring in the first place is maintaining proper hygiene, especially when you are around a bunch of other individuals or handling food.

• Thoroughly wash your hands for at least 15 seconds. If soap isn’t available, use a hand sanitizer instead.
• Disinfect and clean any surfaces in your environment using bleach and detergent.
• Make sure to wash any vegetables and fruits thoroughly. Cook your fish before you eat it, especially shellfish and oysters.
• Dispose of contaminated items with extreme caution.

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