The norovirus is considered as a common virus that only a few individuals have ever heard of. It is one of the main causes for the stomach flu that affects the stomach and the intestines.
How norovirus affects children
The norovirus is one of the leading causes of stomach flu or gastroenteritis. Even though it is notorious for causing outbreaks of vomiting and diarrhea on cruise ships, it is also capable of causing outbreaks in daycare centers and schools.
Remember that norovirus is the main reason why children are taken to the emergency department and can be life-threatening among young children. The virus is also responsible for almost 50% of foodborne-illnesses.
Signs and symptoms of norovirus
The symptoms of norovirus are strikingly similar to the other causes of gastroenteritis including watery diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to dehydration. The other symptoms include the following:
- Abdominal cramping
- Body aches
- Low grade fever
An individual usually becomes sick within 12-48 hours after being exposed to the norovirus by direct exposure to an infected individual, contaminated objects or surfaces or eating contaminated food.
Luckily, many individuals can recover rapidly while the diarrhea and vomiting subsides in 1-3 days. The symptoms might last longer up to 4-6 days among young children and the elderly who are likely to become extremely sick with the condition.
Even today, there is no cure for the norovirus, thus it is vital to try to prevent an infection before one occurs. There are measures that can prevent norovirus from spreading while sick as well as avoid norovirus infections such as the following:
- Wash hands regularly using water and soap
- Wash vegetables and fruits before they are eaten
- Avoid eating raw oysters if possible
- Surfaces should be carefully disinfected using a bleach-based household cleaner and wash clothing if they are contaminated
- Avoid swimming in pools if the individual just recently had diarrhea
- Avoid preparing and cooking food for others until the symptoms of norovirus completely subsides for at least 3 days in which he/she is no longer contagious