Norovirus Treatment in Cambridge, OH
The norovirus, sometimes referred to as the winter vomiting bug in the UK and Ireland, is a highly contagious virus commonly acquired and spread after ingesting food or water contaminated with trace amounts of infected feces or fluids. As the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in humans, the inflammation the norovirus creates in the intestines and stomach can wreak havoc on the entire gastrointestinal system. The illness is characterized by the onset of sudden, severe vomiting and diarrhea, which typically begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure, and last for 1-3 days.
Norovirus outbreaks typically occur in closed and crowded environments, such as in hospitals, nursing homes, childcare centers and on cruise ships. Though a norovirus infection will typically improve on its own, medical treatment is warranted as vomiting and diarrhea can be severely dehydrating and especially pose a risk to infants, older adults and people with an underlying disease.
To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Cambridge that specializes in norovirus treatment, call (740) 439-3515 or contact Dr. Rebecca Brauch online.
Norovirus Causes & Symptoms
Highly contagious and easily spread from person-to-person, noroviruses are transmitted through the feces of infected humans and animals. Methods of transmission include:
- Eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water
- Touching your hands to your mouth after your hand has come into contact with a contaminated surface or object
- Being in close contact with an infected person
Norovirus symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain or cramps
- Watery or loose diarrhea
- Unexplained feeling of discomfort, illness or unease (malaise)
- Low-grade fever
- Muscle pain
Symptoms typically last 12-48 hours after first exposed to the virus, and last 1-3 days. You may continue to shed the virus in your feces for up to two weeks after recovery. If you have an underlying health condition, on the other hand, viral shedding may last as long as several weeks to several months, representing the need to visit a healthcare provider who can offer treatment and lifestyle advice. Seek medical attention if you develop prolonged diarrhea that lasts several days, or if you experience severe vomiting, bloody stools, abnormal pain or dehydration. While usually symptoms go away on their own, in rare cases, norovirus causes severe dehydration, malnutrition and even death.
Norovirus Diagnosis & Treatment
Your healthcare provider can typically make a diagnosis based on the symptoms you are experiencing, though a stool sample may be requested.
Norovirus treatment is unspecific. Most cases of norovirus infection don't even require treatment, going away on their own within a few days. Getting plenty of fluids will help ensure dehydration doesn't set in. If you're unable to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration, you may need to receive fluids intravenously. Your healthcare provider may recommend an over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication if you're over the age of 65. At-home treatment to help ease your symptoms could include:
- Ginger (supplemented or as a tea) to quell nausea
- Herbs such as elderberry and Echinacea to support your immune system
- Consume a simple diet that does not upset the stomach by avoiding gluten, dairy and foods high in fiber
- Get plenty or rest and try stress-reducing activities
Recovery will depend on the health of your immune system.
Norovirus infection is often preventable. Norovirus prevention starts with maintaining good hygiene, especially if your work, personal or social life requires contact with large groups of people. To help prevent norovirus:
- Wash your hands often with antibacterial soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or changing your baby’s diaper and before preparing or eating food. Alcohol-based cleansers are not as effective as soap and water.
- Carefully throw away any contaminated items (such as dirty diapers).
- Wash raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Cook oysters and other shellfish before eating them.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces with a mixture of detergent and chlorine bleach after someone is sick.
If you have norovirus, refrain from preparing food for at least 2-3 days after you feel better to ensure the spread of norovirus is prevented. Schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Cambridge that specializes in norovirus treatment. Call (740) 439-3515 or contact Dr. Rebecca Brauch online.
Medical Associates of Cambridge, Inc.
Address1515 Maple Drive
Cambridge, OH 43725
7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm