Preventing Norovirus this winter

January 2, 2024

Experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, and puzzled about the cause? Could it be that your favorite restaurant made you sick? The restaurant itself may not be the culprit, but perhaps you contracted the stomach flu, commonly known as Norovirus.

AFC Urgent Care Saugus has crafted a guide to enlighten you on what Norovirus is, the symptoms to be vigilant about, and effective prevention strategies!

Understanding Norovirus aka “stomach flu”

According to the CDC, Norovirus is an extremely contagious virus known to induce symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Anyone is susceptible to Norovirus infection, and while often referred to as the "stomach flu" or "stomach bug," it's crucial to distinguish Norovirus illness from the flu caused by the influenza virus.

In the United States, Norovirus stands as the primary cause of vomiting, diarrhea, and foodborne illnesses.

Common Norovirus Symptoms to keep an eye on:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea

Other symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches

It's noteworthy that Norovirus triggers acute gastroenteritis, causing inflammation in the stomach and intestines. Symptoms typically emerge 12 to 48 hours after Norovirus exposure. While most individuals recover within 1 to 3 days, it's crucial to recognize that they might remain contagious, capable of spreading the virus for a few days afterward.

Dehydration Symptoms:

  • Decreased urination
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Dizziness when standing up

Being aware of these dehydration symptoms is especially important for young children, given the potential for dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea.

Norovirus Transmission: What to know

Norovirus can spread through:

  • Contaminated food: If a person with Norovirus touches food with their bare hands or if food is placed on surfaces with fecal or vomit particles.
  • Contaminated water: When a person with Norovirus vomits or defecates in the water, or when water is improperly treated.
  • Sick people and contaminated surfaces: When a person with Norovirus touches surfaces with their bare hands, contaminated items are placed on surfaces, or tiny drops of vomit from an infected person land on surfaces or enter another person’s mouth.

Preventing Norovirus:

Frequent handwashing is a pivotal step in preventing Norovirus. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, before handling or preparing food, and before engaging in activities involving contact with others.

Disinfecting and cleaning surfaces is equally important, given the uncertainty of who may have touched them and whether they were previously infected with Norovirus.

AFC Urgent Care Saugus Aids Norovirus Recovery:

AFC Urgent Care Saugus is equipped to assist in Norovirus recovery. We're dedicated to helping you combat Norovirus and return to your daily life. Operating seven days a week, we welcome walk-ins and appointments. Managing your AFC Urgent Care Saugus bill is a breeze with our user-friendly online payment method. Our clinic accepts most insurances. 

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