What Are Noroviruses?
Worldwide, noroviruses are thought to be the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis (diarrhoea and vomiting illness).On average, noroviruses cause 19 million to 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis in the U.S. per year, according to the CDC. The norovirus was originally called the Norwalk virus, after the town of Norwalk, OH, where the first confirmed outbreak happened in 1972.Because there are many different types of noroviruses, exposure to one type may not protect you from other types.While they can strike year round, they’re more common in the winter, says Edward Gaydos, DO, a paediatrician at the Cleveland Clinic. (Norovirus is also called the “winter vomiting bug.”). In India its impact is not completely recorded.
“You’re miserable for 1 to 3 days,” says Gaydos. “It’s usually an abrupt onset and a quick recovery. It’s a nuisance, but it’s not something to panic about. Most people will do fine with it.”Noroviruses are sometimes called food poisoning, because they can be transmitted through food that’s been contaminated with the virus. They aren’t always the result of food contamination, though.
What Causes Infection With Noroviruses?
People become infected with noroviruses when they eat or drink contaminated foods and beverages. Raw or undercooked oysters and raw fruits and vegetables have been implicated in some outbreaks. You can also get infected if you touch an object or surface that has been infected with the virus and then touch your nose, mouth, or eyes.
“You don’t need that much exposure to get sick,” says Gaydos.
Noroviruses thrive in close quarters, such as restaurants, day-care centers, and nursing homes, because they are hardy and highly contagious. They can survive temperature extremes in water and on surfaces.
Once someone is infected from contaminated food, the virus can quickly pass from person to person through shared food or utensils, by shaking hands, or through other close contact.
When someone with the virus vomits, the virus can spread through the air and contaminate surfaces. The virus also spreads through feces, meaning that someone who doesn’t thoroughly wash his hands after using the bathroom can pass it along. Dirty diapers can also harbor norovirus.
Young children, the elderly, and people who have a weakened immune system are particularly susceptible to catching noroviruses. The spread of the virus can be hard to control because it’s contagious before symptoms appear. In other words, you can spread the infection before you know you’re sick.
“If you get one or two kids in the classroom with it, then it can wipe out the whole class and other classrooms,” says Gaydos. “It’s just like at home where if one person gets it, the whole family gets it.”
Hot water extraction is the recommended method for removing norovirus from carpets in the home. Mere vacuuming will not do the job — instead, it might spread the virus by moving it into the air! Public health services recommend cleaning the carpet with water that is at least at 170 degrees. This ensures the elimination of contaminants.
Source: WebMD & Internet Curation