Phoenix is seeing a surge in the Norovirus. This virus is often found in restaurants through contaminated food and liquids. The Norovirus can live on restaurant kitchen counters, which in turn, can be transferred to the food being prepared.
According to the Center for Disease Control, most people start to feel sick one to three days after getting infected. People who get the norovirus ARE contagious from when they start feeling sick until about three days after they’re feeling better.
Norovirus, or Norwalk-like viruses, are a group of germs that cause the "stomach flu." Though it's often called stomach flu, norovirus is not the same virus that causes seasonal flu or H1N1 influenza. Illness usually lasts one to two days. Telltale signs are gastrointestinal symptoms, including:
• Stomach cramps
Other symptoms may include:
• Low-grade fever
• Muscle aches
If you have norovirus, you may feel like you have "the flu." But with norovirus, you will not usually have coughing and congestion.
Since there is no vaccine to ward off this virus, your first line of defense is washing your hands. Avoiding public door handles, railings, menus, ketchup, salt & pepper, and napkin dispensers in restaurants can help decrease your chances of contracting the virus while in a restaurant. Just remember that everything sitting on your restaurant table was just in contact with another (possibly infected) person, and remain vigilant.
Your symptoms should go away after one to two days. But, sometimes it can last up to 10 days.
The illness will clear up on its own without any medication. Norovirus is caused by a virus, and antibiotics do not work on viruses.
When you're sick, it's important to take in plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Dehydration is serious and can come on quickly. It's especially dangerous for young children, seniors and people with chronic health conditions. To prevent dehydration:
• Sip on fluids or suck on ice chips.
• Drink beverages that contain electrolytes. Electrolytes are important nutrients that are lost through diarrhea and vomit. Broth-based soups, fruit juices and sports beverages contain both water and electrolytes. Your doctor may suggest an over-the-counter rehydration product, too.
Enjoying restaurants during this outbreak is still completely possible. Just be sure to wash your hands, make sure utensils are cleaned properly (if in doubt, ask), and keep public products out of your hands.
Resources: Center For Disease Control (CDC.org)
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