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Everything you need to know about norovirus

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Posted on Mar 14 2017
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The norovirus is easy to catch, but you can prepare yourself and reduce your chances of falling ill.

The norovirus is responsible for very nasty stomach aches. Thankfully we’ve got some top tips for helping stop the spread of norovirus, what to do if you do catch it and which types of wipes are good for beating it.

What is norovirus?

Norovirus is one of the most common causes of gastroenteritis in the USA, and results in bouts of vomiting and diarrhea that can last a few days, however the duration can increase among elderly people. These yucky symptoms usually develop between 12 and 48 hours after you’re first exposed to the virus.

Sufferers of norovirus may say that they have food poisoning, and while food poisoning can be caused by norovirus there are also other germs and chemicals which can result in the same symptoms.

How is norovirus transmitted?

Unfortunately it can be quite easy to catch norovirus. The most common ways of transmission include coming into contact with an infected person, touching contaminated surfaces or objects and consuming contaminated food or drink. Worse still the amount of exposure required to become ill is very low - only 10 to 100 particles can cause illness - and the virus is able to survive on surfaces for many days. This means that outbreaks of norovirus are extremely common, particularly in semi-closed environments where people are in close contact with one another for long periods such as hospitals, schools and even cruise ships.

To reduce the risk of infection good hygiene is vital. There are some simple things that you can do to limit the spread of the virus, such as making sure that you and others wash your hands properly (especially when handling food, using the toilet or immediately after coming into contact with a sick person), cover mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing, stay at home when you’re sick and use disinfecting wipes.

Which wipes kill norovirus?

Wipes containing bleach have been found to effectively decontaminate infected surfaces, killing the nasty virus particles which can cause norovirus. Remember to handle any products that contain bleach with care. Using gloves and, where appropriate, a face mask will help avoid any irritation.

What should I do if I catch norovirus?

The bad news is that there isn’t a specific cure for norovirus and if you do catch it the only thing you can do is let it take its course.

To minimize your suffering and reduce the risk of contamination, make sure you do these three things:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration will only make you worse. If water is too boring, why not try a juice drink? Food is just as important as fluids, so try and stick to a normal eating pattern as best as you can. Eating a little is better than eating nothing.
  • Grab your wipes. Have two types of wipe with you at all times - antibacterial hand wipes and disinfectant surface wipes. This is really important if you are to reduce the risk of spreading anymore viral particles.
  • Get plenty of rest. Hit the hay. Bed rest is important, not only does it give your body a chance to recuperate but if you stick to one room it minimizes the risk that you were spread your germs about. Pick out your favorite box set and snooze for a day or two until you’re fighting fit again.
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