Norovirus

Norovirus Symptoms, Causes and Treatment by Mobidoctor Online GP

 

Norovirus infection is a contagious viral digestive illness that presents with a sudden onset of vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea, and inflammation. It is also known as the winter vomiting bug.

 

This viral infection tends to subside on its own after a few days. However, if you’re experiencing symptoms that are persistent, haven’t gone away after three days, or have turned severe, talk to a doctor right now via Mobidoctor’s online appointment service.

 

Mobidoctor physicians are always available to assess your symptoms, give you a diagnosis of norovirus infection, and provide treatment advice and prescription medications as needed.

What causes the norovirus?

This digestive condition is caused by noroviruses, a type of virus that is present in contaminated food and/or water. Noroviruses cause inflammation of the stomach and other digestive system parts, leading to its classic symptoms of sudden-onset vomiting and diarrhoea.

 

Sometimes, norovirus is confused with food poisoning. This is because the viruses are transmitted through contaminated food. But noroviruses are highly contagious and can also be passed around through other means such as close contact with infected persons or touching contaminated objects and surfaces.

 

Norovirus is common in places with mass food production, such as in restaurants, cruise ships, and nursing homes. It often hits people with weak immune systems.

Symptoms of the norovirus

There are three distinct symptoms that characterise norovirus infection:

 

Heavy and sudden vomiting

Watery diarrhoeal stools

Nausea

 

Other cases may present with additional symptoms such as the following:

 

Headaches

Muscle or joint aches

Stomach cramps

Slightly elevated temperature

 

Noroviruses act quickly and can infect you so rapidly, with you feeling fine initially then quickly progressing to a very sick state after only a few hours.

 

Vomiting and diarrhoea caused by norovirus infection can easily lead to dehydration. In this case, try your best to drink plenty of water and other fluids.

 

Serious complications of norovirus infection are rare. However, those who contract the virus while they have weakened immune systems may suffer from malnutrition or fatal levels of dehydration.

Treating the Norovirus

No cure exists for this digestive problem since the culprit here is a virus. Norovirus will not respond to antibiotics, nor will it go away with antiviral medications. It just clears up on its won after a few days.

 

Your main focus is to prevent possible dehydration caused by excessive vomiting and diarrhoea. Your doctor will advise you to increase general fluid intake by taking in more water and juices. Kids who contract the illness may also take oral rehydration solutions.

 

Do not take alcohol and sugary drinks such as sodas. All these drinks can make your vomiting, diarrhoea, and dehydration worse.

 

Watch out for signs of severe dehydration:

 

Dizziness spells

Excessively dry mouth

Decreased urge and need to urinate

Decreased urine output

 

Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any of these severe symptoms.

 

Preventing the Norovirus

Good hygiene is the main preventative measure in norovirus infection. You can practise this by:

 

Washing your hands often and thoroughly

Cleaning and disinfecting your home’s surfaces, especially if someone is sick at home

Take extra care in handling items that could possibly be infected with the norovirus

 

Other steps you can take to prevent contracting the virus are:

 

Thoroughly wash raw vegetables and fruits

Ensuring that seafood is thoroughly cooked before eating it

Refrain from preparing food up to a few days after you’ve been healed from norovirus, as you may still pass the infection to others even at this time

Talk to a Doctor About the Norovirus

Book an online appointment with a Mobidoctor physician in minutes to discuss your norovirus infection with one of our panel’s experienced GPs. You must not delay speaking to a doctor especially if your norovirus infection is significantly prolonged, extends beyond three days, and/or your symptoms progressed to a severe form.

 

You can talk to our GPs about your symptoms, get diagnosed, and be given prescriptions as needed to alleviate your symptoms. You can also get referred to specialists for further tests or treatment as needed.