How To Prevent And Treat Norovirus
If you or a family member haven’t been plagued with it yet this season, consider yourselves lucky, because norovirus, aka “stomach flu” is one of the many winter illnesses that can knock your socks off. The virus can be so contagious that last year we saw a few of our favorite local restaurants having to close for a few days due to an outbreak. As many were adversely affected, it gave us time to reflect on what we can do this season to help others in the community protect and reduce their chances of contracting norovirus. AFC Torrington is your number 1 local provider, with answers on how to prevent and treat norovirus.
What is Norovirus?
Norovirus is a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus. It is the most common cause of foodborne disease outbreaks in the U.S. As history often repeats itself, it has ripped its way through many of our favorite food establishments year after year. The virus is passed from person to person, by contaminated food and water and by contaminated surfaces.
Symptoms of Norovirus
Symptoms usually occur within a 12-48 hour window after coming in contact with the virus. Those infected usually develop one or more of the following symptoms:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Occasional cramping
- Low grade fever
- Aching muscles
- Loss of taste
Anyone can contract a norovirus infection. The virus is most likely to spread in schools, work, restaurants and other places that have clusters of people in a group.
Is Norovirus treatable?
There is no cure or vaccine for the virus, however treatment can begin by staying hydrated during the recovery process. Drinking water and staying hydrated with fluids that have electrolytescan help prevent dehydration. It is best to take frequent sips to avoid dehydration. Avoid sodas, juices and other caffeinated beverages as this can make diarrhea worse. If you have severe nausea and vomiting you can come into our Torrington urgent care center for further treatment and medicine to reduce or stop vomiting.
How can I prevent norovirus?
If you haven’t come into contact with the virus, but others around you are getting it, please stay away if at all possible and/or at the very least, practice good hygiene. The CDC recommends washing your hands frequently with soap and water after touching contaminated surfaces. Keeping a hand sanitizer on you during the winter season can help in addition to washing your hands. If your loved ones have the virus and you’re cleaning up after them make sure that after disinfecting everything you not only wash your hands, but take your clothes and wash them too.
In addition to good hygiene it’s also advisable to watch what you eat and avoid restaurants where they don’t practice food and safety protocols.
Tip!: If they don’t wear gloves when handling food, don’t eat there. If they have employees that are sick don’t eat there. If you are an employer and your staff is displaying symptoms of norovirus then you must report it and send them home. Sending one person home is better than sending multiple people home and causing an outbreak at the same time.