What Is Norovirus?

January 31, 2024

Have you ever felt sick with symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea? You may have Norovirus, which is often referred to as the stomach bug. Norovirus is an infection that can lead to sudden onset of severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Norovirus is a highly contagious virus and is often found in contaminated water and food. Norovirus symptoms can be intense and can affect anyone. If you’re sick with norovirus symptoms and are looking for information about how long symptoms last and whether you should seek medical treatment, keep reading. AFC Urgent Care Waltham offers same-day illness diagnosis and treatment with no appointment needed 7 days a week.

What Causes Norovirus?

Norovirus is caused by a viral infection. Other examples of viral infections include the flu and the common cold. Viral infections are very contagious, and can easily be passed from one person to another. Norovirus can live on surfaces, allowing the virus to spread through contact with objects like doorknobs. You can also get norovirus by eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water.

Norovirus is not killed by most commonly used disinfectants, making it difficult to avoid. It can also withstand heat and cold temperatures. Norovirus is most commonly found in crowded environments like hospitals, offices, and schools. This makes young children especially prone to contracting the infection.

Norovirus Symptoms

Norovirus is commonly referred to as the stomach flu. This is because it causes gastrointestinal upset such as diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting. Symptoms will start 24 to 48 hours after you have been infected by the virus, which means you can spread it to others unknowingly. Symptoms typically last anywhere between one to three days, however, they may last longer in severe cases. Although symptoms may be uncomfortable, healthy adults often do not require medical care to cure norovirus. However, it can cause dangerous cases of dehydration in elderly citizens and children.

Norovirus symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Stomach pain
  • Loose or Watery Diarrhea

Tips For Preventing Norovirus

Norovirus is extremely contagious. It can spread in various different ways, making it difficult to avoid. It spreads quickly in school settings, where children may not be washing their hands regularly. Regardless, there are some you can take to prevent norovirus including the following:

  • Washing your hands often
  • Staying home if you feel sick
  • Avoid touching door handles in public spaces
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Clean your produce before consuming it.

Visit AFC Urgent Care Waltham for Same-Day Illness Diagnosis & Treatment

If you are experiencing sudden onset gastrointestinal upset, you may be suffering from norovirus. Although norovirus often resolves on its own after a few days, it can cause serious symptoms such as severe dehydration. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, you should seek medical care for diagnostic testing and treatment. At AFC Urgent Care Waltham, we offer same-day illness care for patients in Waltham, MA, and the surrounding communities. We never require you to schedule an appointment, simply walk into our clinic

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