Table of Contents
- Norovirus infection facts
- What is a norovirus?
- What causes a norovirus infection? How are norovirus infections transmitted?
- What are norovirus infection symptoms and signs in adults, children, and babies?
- What is the incubation period for a norovirus infection? How long are people infected with norovirus contagious?
- How is a norovirus infection diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for norovirus infections in adults, children, and babies?
- What are possible complications of a norovirus infection?
- What is the prognosis of a norovirus infection?
- Is it possible to prevent norovirus infections? Is there a norovirus vaccine?
- Where can people get more information about norovirus infections?
Norovirus Infection: A Cause for Travelers' Concern?
Many people may not be familiar with the term norovirus, but it's actually a relatively new term for an old disease. The many strains of noroviruses cause a self-limited gastrointestinal illness that many refer to as the "stomach flu." Outbreaks of norovirus infection have also been documented as coming from restaurants, schools, and nursing homes.
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Norovirus infection facts
- Norovirus is a small virus that is highly contagious among humans.
- People acquire the virus by ingesting material contaminated with small amounts of infected feces or fluids. Food and water may be contaminated during processing or handling.
- Noroviruses are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the United States.
- Signs and symptoms of a norovirus infection include
- The illness usually lasts two to three days and resolves by itself.
- There is no specific treatment for norovirus, but it is important that infected people stay well hydrated. Fluids containing sugar and electrolytes should be encouraged. Intravenous fluids may be needed if the person cannot maintain an adequate oral intake of fluids.
- Complications are usually related to the degree of dehydration. Young children and the elderly are at special risk for dehydration.
- Because the disease is highly contagious, it is important for caretakers to clean their hands whenever they come into contact with the ill person or their environment.
- The risk of food-borne outbreaks or outbreaks within hospitals or nursing homes may be minimized by following established standards that include hand hygiene; soap and water are advised, as alcohol-based hand cleaners are not very effective against noroviruses.
Glass, R.I., U.D. Parashar, and M.K. Estes. "Norovirus Gastroenteritis." N Engl J Med 361 (2009): 1776-1785.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "Updated Norovirus Outbreak Management and Disease Prevention Guidelines." MMWR Recomm Rep 60.RR-3 (2011): 1-20.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Norovirus." Sept. 30, 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/>.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Norovirus: NoroSTAT Data." May 29, 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/reporting/norostat/
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