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: Curly, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I believe I contracted norovirus at a local restaurant, on Saturday. Sunday night I had a stomachache. At about 11:00 PM, I threw up violently and continued to throw up until there was nothing left. Unfortunately, I had the runs at the same time, which was quite exasperating. I also had the onset of body aches, joint pain, fatigue and chills. I tried to keep my fluids up, as that is what seems to be advised to prevent dehydration. My husband got me Pedialyte, juice and more bleach cleaner, first thing in the morning. Now it is Tuesday, and I had my first solid food a banana. I am sticking to the BRAT diet - bananas, rice, applesauce and toast with some crackers and chicken broth thrown in. I also plan to take some probiotic yogurt and kefir later in the week. I don't think I have ever been this sick; my condolences if you contract this bug!

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Comment from: John, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: May 21

I just came from a cruise that ran from Saturday to Saturday. On Wednesday while on the cruise I felt very tired and went to lie down. The next time I woke, I went to the bathroom and had watery stools, chills, more fatigue and didn't felt like eating. Symptoms of norovirus infection continued for the rest of the trip. Finally I got back on land the Saturday, and I threw up once after eating a decent meal. I took Pepto-Bismol and it worked for the day and the next day I went back to the same symptoms. Today is Monday and I feel better but still tired and having watery stool. The main key is to keep yourself hydrated with water, sports drinks (Gatorade or Powerade) or over the counter rehydration liquids and eat to give the body the needed nutrients. If problem is extreme please seek medical advice.

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