Norovirus Infection - Symptoms

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What were the symptoms associated with a norovirus infection in you or someone you know?

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What are norovirus infection symptoms and signs in adults, children, and babies?

Most people get sick within one day of ingesting norovirus (range 12-48 hours) so the virus has a short incubation period. Symptoms and signs include vomiting, watery diarrhea, or both. Fever occurs in one-third to one-half of infected people. Cramping abdominal or stomach pain and a general feeling of tiredness, headache, and muscle aches are common.

Infected people are usually thirsty, although they may have trouble keeping fluids down. In general, if patients can orally ingest about the same amount of fluid they lose through diarrhea and vomiting, they will do well. Symptoms in adults may be different than symptoms in children. Young children and babies may not complain of thirst but may appear listless or lethargic as they become dehydrated. Symptoms may be more severe in debilitated, elderly patients or pregnant women. People who are unable to replace their fluids and develop signs of dehydration need medical care.

Most people have a mild illness that lasts two to three days. In contrast to bacterial diarrheas, such as those caused by Shigella or Campylobacter bacteria, norovirus does not cause blood or pus in the stool. The length of infection may be prolonged in patients who are in the hospital or in young children.

Norovirus has been associated with severe inflammation of the colon in newborns and with disease flares in children who have inflammatory bowel disease, but it is not yet clear what role norovirus plays in these conditions.

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Comment from: Sydney, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

Wow, where to begin! I woke up on a Thursday with severe diarrhea, went to work and started feeling very dizzy and nauseous so I left work early. I slept for about 8 hours only to wake up and have more diarrhea and vomit green puke for about 10 minutes straight. I couldn't control the diarrhea, it was literally like I was urinating out of there. I went to the doctor and again started feeling dizzy and ended up puking again. I ended up puking so much throughout the day that I ruptured something in my stomach and started puking up blood. The diarrhea has been going on for 4 days and I feel dehydrated and exhausted, sleeping almost 15 hours of the day. I am pretty sure I picked this norovirus infection up at my doctor's office after going for an unrelated issue the day before.

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Comment from: Jersey, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 04

I was visiting with friends, no signs or warning of the norovirus infection, just sudden severe pains in upper stomach region, loss of color, and feeling totally weak. I slept for several hours. No other pain, I was just very weak and cold. And then I had diarrhea for hours, through the night, lasting day and more. I am drinking water and eating small amounts banana and toast. Feel so weak and weary.

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