The tummy illnesses running through your community may be caused by Norovirus. Last winter the virus swept the country, and this year it seems even worse.
A new strain that was discovered in March, 2012 is spreading throughout the country this winter. There is no drug that treats the infection and no vaccine to prevent it. The viruses cause an inflammation of the intestines and the stomach and the illness is called gastroenteritis.
While many bugs are making people ill in the Denver area, including flu and cold, Norovirus is not related to them. Some people call the illness the stomach flu or confuse it with food poisoning. Most people can recover from the Norovirus without any type of medical treatment, but if there is an underlying disease or in the case of infants and older adults, complications can occur. If the diarrhea and vomiting cause dehydration, medical attention is advised.
The Norovirus infection spreads rampantly. Water and food that has been contaminated be fecal matter is the most common cause of the contagion, especially during food preparation. It is also spread by close contact with a person who has been affected.
Some people have the infection but never show any of the symptoms. They help spread the virus because they are still contagious even though they don’t appear to be ill.
According to the staff at Mayo Clinic, the typical person will develop abdominal pain and diarrhea and start to vomit with one to two days of exposure. The symptoms last several days, and if the illness seems to be lingering you should call your doctor. Seek medical advice if there is blood in the stools, severe vomiting, and abdominal pain or if signs of dehydration occur.