Authorities in the UK are alerting citizens to the growing danger posed by the norovirus after a significant outbreak caused case numbers to smash previous records. According to data from the national monitoring system, which keeps track of instances, infections are “66% higher than the usual at this time of year.” The fact that the outbreak is disproportionately affecting English elderly at rates “not seen in nearly a decade” is more cause for alarm.
What is the Norovirus?
You are highly likely to have norovirus more than once in your lifetime. It has nothing to do with the influenza virus, sometimes known as the flu, despite being occasionally referred to as the stomach bug or stomach flu. Because there are numerous varieties of noroviruses, catching one does not guarantee immunity to another. It’s possible to get immune to a particular strain of Norovirus after catching it, but the length of immunity is uncertain, which explains why so many people of various ages suffer the illness during outbreaks.
How do you catch Norovirus?
When a person consumes contaminated food or water, an outbreak may happen. Since an infected person can release billions of norovirus particles and it only takes a few to cause infection, noroviruses are easily transmitted from one sick person to another. So either direct contact with someone who has the norovirus infection or merely touching contaminated surfaces and putting your hand in your mouth without cleaning can cause infection.
How long can Norovirus live on surfaces and how to avoid infections?
However, surfaces are also a means of virus transmission. Since the virus can persist on surfaces for up to two weeks, it is essential to clean any surfaces that have been touched or exposed to droplets in order to stop the spread of the disease.Surfaces should be cleaned frequently with “a bleach-based household cleanser or a combination of bleach and hot water,” to prevent infections. After being used by an infected person, public health professionals advise cleaning surfaces such as door handles, faucets, toilets, and telephones.
What are the Norovirus symptoms, and how long do they take to occur?
After exposure to norovirus, symptoms of infection often start to show between 12 and 48 hours later. The majority of people will experience vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, and stomach pain. Body aches, fever, and headaches could also be present. Most people who get sick with the norovirus recover in one to three days.Severe disease, however, could affect small children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and people with other disorders. This could involve experiencing frequent diarrhoea and vomiting, both of which can cause dehydration.