Consider yourself fortunate if neither you nor any family members have fallen victim to the norovirus, commonly known as the "stomach flu," this season. Among the numerous winter illnesses, norovirus has the potential to knock you down.
Last year, the norovirus wreaked havoc on some beloved local restaurants, leading to closures due to outbreaks. As many were affected, it prompted us to reflect on how we can aid others in the community, helping them protect themselves and reduce the risk of contracting the norovirus this winter. AFC Urgent Care New Bedford is your local resource with insights on preventing and treating norovirus.
What is Norovirus aka “Stomach Flu”
Norovirus is a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus and the leading cause of foodborne disease outbreaks in the U.S. History has shown its recurrence, causing disruptions in many of our favorite food establishments year after year. The virus spreads person-to-person, through contaminated food and water, and by contact with contaminated surfaces.
Symptoms of Norovirus
Symptoms typically manifest within a 12-48 hour window after exposure to the virus. Those infected may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Occasional cramping
- Low-grade fever
- Aching muscles
- Loss of taste
Norovirus infections can affect anyone, and the virus is most likely to spread in places where people gather, such as schools, workplaces, and restaurants.
Is Norovirus Treatable?
While there is no cure or vaccine for the virus, treatment can begin by staying hydrated during the recovery process. Staying hydrated with water and electrolyte-containing fluids can help prevent dehydration. It's advisable to take frequent sips to avoid dehydration. Avoiding sodas, juices, and other caffeinated beverages is recommended, as they can exacerbate diarrhea. If you experience severe nausea and vomiting, you can visit our center for further treatment and medication to reduce or stop vomiting.
How Can I Prevent Norovirus?
If you haven't been in contact with the virus but notice others around you getting sick, it's crucial to stay away and practice good hygiene. The CDC recommends frequent handwashing with soap and water after touching contaminated surfaces. Keeping a hand sanitizer on hand during the winter season can also be beneficial in addition to regular handwashing. If your loved ones have the virus and you're involved in cleaning up after them, ensure that after disinfecting everything, you not only wash your hands but also launder your clothes.
In addition to practicing good hygiene, monitoring your diet is essential, and it's wise to avoid restaurants that neglect food and safety protocols. If the staff doesn't wear gloves when handling food or if there are visibly ill employees, it's advisable to steer clear. For employers, if your staff displays symptoms of norovirus, reporting it and sending the affected individual home is a prudent approach to prevent a widespread outbreak.
AFC Urgent Care Newbdford is your trusted Norovirus expert
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford is ready to support your recovery. Our center is open seven days a week, providing both walk-in and appointment services. Easily manage your AFC Urgent Care New Bedford bill online with just a few clicks. We are committed to assisting you in overcoming norovirus and returning to your regular daily activities. Keep in mind that we accept most insurances!