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Norovirus Infection Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Norovirus Infection ?

It is an infection that triggers the immediate onset of intense diarrhea and vomiting. In addition to this, the virus is extremely infectious and generally transmits to an otherwise healthy body by means of consuming water or food that has been contaminated with fecal matter, while being prepared. Therefore, norovirus infection is common in places with poor sanitary conditions. In addition to, close contacts with an infected individual also serve as the basis to spread the illness.

After being exposed the virus, symptoms normally develop after a day or two, including vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Often the signs persist for 1-3 days and resolve on their own without the need of medical aid. Though for some, particularly individuals with some underlying diseases, older adults and infants, diarrhea and vomiting can lead to intense dehydration, and thus needs medical assistance.

As mentioned earlier, the infection is common in crowded and closed environment for example:

  • Nursing homes.
  • Hospitals.
  • Cruise ships.
  • Schools.

What Are The Symptoms Of Norovirus Infection ?

Common indications of norovirus infection are as follow:

  • Nausea.
  • Abdominal cramps or pain.
  • Vomiting.
  • Malaise.
  • Loose diarrhea.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Low-grade fever.

An infected individual sheds the virus for more than 3 days in the feces, after being recovered. Few individuals may not develop any prominent sign. These individuals serve as the carrier of virus for others, without being aware of it.

What Causes Norovirus Infection ?

Noroviruses tend to be extremely infectious. Infected animals and human shed the viruses in their wastage. It can be transmitted through the following means:

  • Consuming contaminated water or food.
  • Touching a contaminated object and then eating something, or touching your mouth without getting the hand washed.
  • A close contact with an infected individual.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Norovirus Infection ?

A number of factors known to increase the possibility of contracting norovirus infection are:

  • Living in a place with poor sanitary conditions or where food is prepared by unsanitary procedures.
  • A weakened immune system.
  • Living in nursing homes, or with a child who attends a child care center or preschool.
  • Staying in resorts or hotels.
  •  Living in places where many individuals live in close quarters.

What Are The Complications Of Norovirus Infection ?

Usually, the infection resolves within some days, and leads to no complications at all. Though for some, particularly older immunocompromised people and children, it can lead to:

  • Intense dehydration.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Death.

How Is Norovirus Infection Diagnosis ?

The diagnosis of norovirus infection is typically done on the basis of indications. Though, norovirus itself can be spotted by a stool sample test.

How Is Norovirus Infection Treatment ?

There is no particular treatment for the illness, as norovirus infection often recovers on its own. It is important to drink more and more fluid, for the sake of replacing the fluids lost in diarrhea. For patients younger than the age of sixty five, the doctor can prescribe anti-diarrhea medication.

By : Natural Health News

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