Common Norovirus Symptoms & Prevention

What Does Norovirus Need To Thrive?

Commonly referred to as the winter “Vomiting Bug”, Norovirus is a term given to a group of stomach viruses that cause inflammation in the stomach and intestines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that, on average, there are 19 to 21 million reported cases of Norovirus each year within the United States. Currently, this year, there have been several outbreaks reported across the country. Therefore, people must become aware of the virus and how to prevent themselves from catching it.

Common Norovirus Symptoms & Prevention

How Norovirus is Contracted

People become infected with Norovirus primarily through the consumption of contaminated food or beverages. Direct contact can also lead to infection, particularly if individuals touch their eyes, mouth, or nose before washing their hands. Noroviruses thrive in closed, densely populated areas such as restaurants, buildings, and even emergency rooms. Once a person contracts the virus, it can quickly spread from person to person. The virus is remarkably resilient, able to survive both harshly cold and hot temperatures. Norovirus can also spread through the air, especially when vomiting or fecal material is involved. This emphasizes the importance of stringent hygiene practices in all settings, including going to the emergency room, to prevent the spread of this highly contagious virus.

Symptoms of Norovirus

Symptoms of Norovirus are akin to those of the stomach flu, yet the two illnesses differ significantly, primarily because Norovirus is extremely contagious. Individuals infected with Norovirus typically endure around three difficult days of vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea. The virus is challenging to contain as it becomes contagious even before symptoms manifest. Additional symptoms of Norovirus include mild fever, chills, sweating, muscle aches, and fatigue. While the symptoms of the infection are typically not severe, dehydration can pose a significant risk due to vomiting and diarrhea. Therefore, if symptoms persist or become severe, a visit to the emergency room may be necessary to ensure adequate hydration and care.

What Should You Do In Case Of Norovirus-Induced Sweating

In the case of Norovirus-induced sweating, the initial step is to ensure proper rehydration as excessive sweating can lead to dehydration. Drink clear fluids, preferably rehydration solutions containing electrolytes, to compensate for the loss. Rest is crucial to allow your body to fight off the virus. Avoid close contact with others to prevent spreading the virus, as Norovirus is highly contagious. Maintain rigorous hygiene by washing your hands frequently, especially before meals and after using the bathroom.

If symptoms persist or worsen, including persistent high fever, severe stomach pain, bloody stools, or symptoms of severe dehydration like dizziness, dry mouth, or decreased urination, don’t hesitate to go to the emergency room. It’s important to remember that while Norovirus is usually a self-limiting illness, it can be severe in some cases, particularly in the very young, elderly, or those with underlying health conditions.

How Do You Prevent Catching Norovirus?

Sanitation is the key to preventing illness caused by Norovirus. While the virus is extremely contagious and can even become airborne, basic hygiene practices can help minimize the chances of attaining the infection. Take the time to clean fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming them. Avoid contaminated food or water. Do not eat any foods prepared by someone that may be sick. When cooking, do so by using clean surfaces and utensils. Always wash hands regularly, especially after using the restroom or after handling a used diaper. Do not come into contact with anyone infected with Norovirus, and refrain from traveling when showing signs of infection.

While Norovirus is not necessarily life-threatening, it is an unpleasant illness. The best way to contain the virus is by taking preventative methods, and by staying home when infected with the virus to avoid infecting others.

Norovirus is not typically life-threatening, as Coronavirus can be, however, the illness can cause a patient to be sick enough to require emergency medical attention. If you have any signs of the Norovirus, come to The Emergency Center immediately. We are here 24/7/365 if you or your family needs emergency care. Never second guess whether or not an illness is severe enough to require emergency attention. The Emergency Center provides up to 23 hours of Observation and offers 24/7 care with NO WAITING. Visit The Emergency Center’s convenient 24-hour location in San Antonio.


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The Emergency Center

San Antonio
11320 Alamo Ranch Pkwy
San Antonio, TX 78253

Phone: 210-485-3644