February marks the beginning of the peak season for the dreaded norovirus. Norovirus is especially common in schools, so if you have children, you may want to prepare yourself. If you or a family member happens to get sick, here are some norovirus remedies that can help alleviate your symptoms.
Norovirus causes gastroenteritis, which is an inflammation of the stomach or the intestines, according to the CDC. The most common symptoms of norovirus are diarrhea, throwing up, nausea, and stomach pain, the CDC reports. It's basically like having the worst stomach flu ever, because other symptoms include body aches and a fever.
Norovirus outbreaks are occurring all across the country, according to health experts. Unfortunately, there is no real treatment for norovirus. Antibiotics won't work against norovirus — after all, it's a virus, not a bacteria.
The most important thing to do if you or someone in your family has norovirus is to stay hydrated. Because you've been vomiting, you need to replace the fluids you've lost. Make sure you're drinking water, sports drinks, or Pedialyte — anything with alcohol or too much sugar can make diarrhea worse.
One obvious suggestion is to stay home. Going to work with norovirus will not only be miserable for you, there's a high chance you'll give the virus to someone else. The virus is spread by coming into contact with someone who has it, of course. But others can even catch it by simply touching a surface, such as a desk or a computer keyboard, that has been exposed to the virus.
So yeah, get some rest. Obviously, if you or your infected loved one is prone to throwing up, finding foods you can keep down is important. Doctors recommend the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Studies have shown that Pepto Bismol works to cut how long you have gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as the severity of your stomach pains.
For those looking for a home remedy, Natural Alternative Remedy has several suggestions. It recommends eating ginger to reduce nausea and vomiting. Fennel and peppermint are also great ways to help relieve your nausea, and fennel in particular can help nix your stomach cramps. Ginger in particular seems to be highly endorsed by people who have suffered from the virus:
Earth Clinic, a website run by natural health experts, recommend taking Vitamin B6 as soon as you start to feel sick. Vitamin B6 aids in immune function, and can prevent you from getting sick in the first place by blocking the virus. And if you're already sick, Earth Clinic suggests taking a tonic made with apple cider vinegar, which gets rid of toxins in your system.
Fortunately, norovirus usually spares its victims after a day or two. Hopefully by taking some of these remedies, having norovirus won't feel like the worst thing that's ever happened to you.