The norovirus can be quite unpleasant, but an infection typically clears up in just a few days. In most cases, you can readily manage an adult or child at home. If possible, it is vital to stay at home since norovirus can rapidly spread to others.
Indications of norovirus
The signs and symptoms of norovirus are quite distinctive. An individual is likely to have an infection if he/she experiences the following:
- Projectile vomiting
- Abrupt feeling of sickness
- Watery diarrhea
In some individuals, they end up with slight fever, sore stomach cramping, headaches and aching limbs. The symptoms typically manifest within 1-2 days after the individual is infected and can last for up to 2-3 days.
What should I do if I have norovirus?
If the individual experiences sudden vomiting and diarrhea, it is essential to stay at home until he/she feels better. Remember that there is no cure for norovirus and you simply have to allow the condition to run its course.
There is no need to seek medical care unless the individual is at risk for serious health issues. There are measures to help ease the symptoms such as the following:
- Encourage increased intake of fluids to avoid dehydration. It is important to drink more than the usual amount to replace the lost fluids from diarrhea and vomiting. Aside from water, you can also provide soup and fruit juices. Avoid any bubbly or fizzy beverages for children since it can worsen the diarrhea. Infants should continue to feed as usual either with formula or breastmilk.
- Paracetamol can be given for aches or pains and fever.
- Allow the adult or child to rest.
- If there is the urge to eat, provide plain foods such as rice, soup, bread and pasta.
- Provide special rehydration solutions that are prepared from sachets readily available in drugstores if dehydration is suspected. The indications include dry mouth or dark-colored urine.
- Adults can be given anti-diarrheal or anti-emetic medications. Just remember that these are not suitable from everybody, thus it is best to check the instructions on the packaging or consult a doctor first.
Infants and young children below a year old face a higher risk for dehydration. Due to the communicable nature of norovirus, always wash hands regularly while sick and avoid work or school at least 48 hours after the symptoms cleared up to reduce the risk of spreading the disease to others.
In most cases of norovirus infections, consulting a doctor is not usually needed since there is no specific treatment for the condition. Since it is a virus, antibiotics will not work in managing the condition.