Winter 2017 has already been a real kick in the keister. Between the snow and the cold and President Trump... what's there to love about winter 2017? Oh, and let's not forget the "winter vomiting bug," otherwise known as norovirus, that's been sweeping the nation. Nothing like being stuck at home either vomiting, or cleaning up the vomit of your loved ones, to truly suck the joy out of life. While we are all trying to stave off a nasty case of the stomach bug, I'm happy to tell you that these six things are not norovirus symptoms. So that's something, I guess, right?
Norovirus is a highly contagious bug that causes inflammation in your intestines and stomach. It can be passed quickly through contaminated food, water, or surfaces. Highly populated, enclosed areas like daycare centers, nursing homes, schools, and even cruise ships are popular breeding grounds for the nasty virus. So here's the good news; people rarely die from contracting norovirus. The bad news? If you are suffering from norovirus, you are going to feel wretched for 24-72 hours. And because there are so many strains of norovirus, you can catch it multiple times. A person infected with norovirus can stay contagious for up to two weeks. Sorry to be that girl, but thought you should know.
It's important to recognize the symptoms of norovirus.
- stomach pain
Those are the most immediately recognizable symptoms of norovirus. Some other symptoms include:
- body aches
If you have contracted the virus, you should stay home and avoid visiting the hospital to stop the spread.
Symptoms that are not indicative of having contracted the norovirus are:
- sore throat (though you might get a sore throat from vomiting, unfortunately)
- runny/stuffy nose
- red/itchy eyes
These symptoms are linked to the common cold, and seasonal flu, which are also not fun.
If you think you have contracted the norovirus, there is not any specific medicine available to cure your symptoms. Your best bet is to be sure to drink as much water as you can, even if you can only handle small sips of water during the worst bouts of stomach illness. It's vital to prevent dehydration. Stay home and binge watch Netflix (that's not a doctor's order, just a tiny perk to being sick) and get plenty of sleep.
If you are hoping to prevent getting sick, be sure to wash your hands with plain old soap and water rather than using hand sanitizer. While hand sanitizer can be effective against other viruses, it's useless against the norovirus. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, and be sure that any seafood you might consume is completely cooked. Stay strong, guys... winter will end some day. I promise.