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Posted on 01-18-2018
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of how quickly the norovirus is spreading – causing schools to close and hospitals to turn people away because there is no space.
Norovirus is an infection that causes a sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhea. This is a highly contagious virus and is commonly spread through food, water, contaminated surfaces, and other people. The virus attacks and causes inflammation in the stomach or intestines. This is the reason for the abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms.
Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, malaise, fever, and muscle pain. Symptoms usually take some time to appear, typically 12 to 48 hours and can last several days.
When to seek Medical Attention
It is recommended to seek medical attention if symptoms do not improve within a couple days or if you have severe vomiting, abdominal pain, bloody stools or dehydration.
PREVENTION IS KEY
Norovirus is highly contagious but can be prevented. Here are several tips:
A Note on Handwashing vs. Hand Sanitizer for Norovirus
This has been fairly controversial in the media and a question that many of our patients have asked about. Hand sanitizer has been shown to be quite convenient over hand washing.
However, there have been several articles and studies that have discussed how hand sanitizer is less effective/not effective against highly contagious viruses (like the norovirus) compared to hand washing.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) also recommends hand washing over hand sanitizers. They stated that hand sanitizers may be used in addition to hand washing but should not substitute hand washing.
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