Norovirus! As COVID-19 cases continue to decline in the United States, outbreaks of another virus, gastroenteritis are on the rise.
Meanwhile, 448 norovirus outbreaks were reported in the United States between August 1, 2021 and March 5, 2022, according to the agency.
For comparison, this is 370 more outbreaks than those reported between August 1, 2020 and March 5, 2021, when 78 stomach virus outbreaks were recorded.
With people returning to offices and schools two of the most common places for norovirus outbreaks, gastroenteritis cases are approaching numbers reported before the pandemic, according to NBC News.
Dr. Robert Atmar, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told media that the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions is likely linked to the increase in norovirus infections.
Fighting norovirus while breastfeeding my sick daughter. Worried when my son goes to school in case he gets Covid. Anxiety levels are reaching tipping point, British art historian Dr Janina Ramirez tweeted on April 5.
Following the resumption of the covid outbreak in the UK, the country is now seeing a sharp rise in norovirus cases. https://t.co/eNbtBqu9OS
— Science&Life (@science_and_life) April 7, 2022
Norovirus is the most common gastric virus in the UK and affects people of all ages, according to Broxbourne Borough Council. Here’s what you need to know about gastroenteritis:
WHAT ARE NOROVIRUSES?
According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, noroviruses are the most common cause of acute gastrointestinal infections in the United States. They are also sometimes called gastroenteritis or vira gastroenteritis. Between 19 and 21 million cases are reported each year in the United States. Humans are the only host of the virus.
— Dp de La Barolliere🌼#EricZemmour🌿⚜️🦅☦️🇮🇱🇵🇱 (@Pilotte_daniel) April 6, 2022
The virus was formerly known as the Norwalk virus because the first known outbreak occurred at an elementary school in Norwalk, Ohio, according to norovirus.com. Scientists identified the virus in 1972 from stool samples stored after the outbreak. The International Commission on Taxonomy of Viruses officially renamed it norovirus.
HOW DO NOROVIRUSES CONTAGIOUSLY?
Extremely. The CDC warns that noroviruses can be transmitted by infected people, contaminated food or water, or simply by touching contaminated surfaces.
People with norovirus are most contagious during and for a few days after illness, and the virus can remain in the stool for up to two weeks after illness.
Union Bay Seafood Ltd. is recalling certain Union Bay Seafood Ltd. brand Pacific oysters. due to the possible presence of norovirus.
More info: https://t.co/FFD6u4wOkx pic.twitter.com/XO0snLtFI8
— Canadian Food Inspection Agency (@InspectionCanFR) April 7, 2022
The virus can also survive extreme temperatures. Also, catching norovirus does not help you fight it in the future, in part because there are many different types of norovirus: catching one does not protect you from others.
WHERE ARE NOROVIRUSES SPREAD?
Cruise ships, nursing homes, nurseries and schools are common breeding grounds for noroviruses — in fact, any place where large numbers of people congregate, according to the CDC. Outbreaks of norovirus on cruise ships are often in the news, and countless travel websites are devoted to tracking which cruise lines have the worst cases of illness.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NOROVIRUS?
According to the Mayo Clinic, diarrhea, cramping, and vomiting usually begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus. Symptoms of norovirus usually last one to three days, and most people recover without treatment. But infants, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses may need medical attention if they become dehydrated.
Since it is a virus, antibiotics do not help and there are no antiviral drugs for norovirus. The Mayo Clinic advises people with norovirus to be sure to replace fluids lost through vomiting or diarrhea to avoid dehydration.
Drinks such as Pedialyte are suitable for young children, while sports drinks and broths are suggested for adults.
Norovirus: after Covid-19, this new epidemic is spreading and worrying https://t.co/AvHvUGFVsk
— gottwd6 (@gottwd6) April 8, 2022
But sugary drinks, such as sodas and fruit juices, can make diarrhea worse, while alcohol or caffeinated drinks can speed up dehydration.
Good hygiene is key to avoiding noroviruses, suggests People Act Magazine. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and before preparing meals. Alcohol-based cleaners are not as effective. The site also advises to exercise caution when disposing of contaminated objects.
Wash raw fruits and vegetables, and cook oysters and other seafood. Clean and sanitize surfaces with a mixture of detergent and bleach after someone has been sick, says WebMD. And if you get norovirus, don’t prepare food for at least two or three days after you feel better.