California’s Department of Public Health (CDPH) says the number of cases of Norovirus, widely known as “stomach flu,” has reached its annual peak. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is collaborating with local public health departments around the state to combat the recent rise in Norovirus outbreaks.
Acute gastroenteritis is caused by the norovirus, which is extremely contagious (inflammation of the stomach and intestines). Closed and congested places like hospitals, elderly homes, daycare facilities, and schools can swiftly transmit norovirus infection. Acute gastroenteritis in the United States is most commonly caused by norovirus. An estimated 19–21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis are attributed to it each year.
Wherever people assemble and share food or restroom facilities, norovirus can quickly spread. Fortunately, the majority of persons infected with Norovirus recover quickly, within one to three days on average.
Even though Norovirus can infect people at any time of year, the virus’s activity peaks in the late winter or early spring each year. Compared to previous years, this year’s peak is a little later.
Because there are so many strains, you can acquire them again and again. In years when a new strain of the virus is circulating, there may be a higher incidence of Norovirus diseases.
Norovirus Cases at Annual Peak in California
If you’re a seafood lover, you may want to avoid any spring oyster spreads. SFGATE reported that health officials in California said on Saturday that at least 34 people had been infected with norovirus after eating tainted oysters farmed from British Columbia. Inflammation of the stomach and intestines is caused by the highly contagious norovirus, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea.
At least nine restaurants that sold Canadian produce saw patrons fall ill between March 11 and 19. At least 270 cases of the sickness have been reported in Canada, which is a substantially larger number than in the United States. Norovirus infections have continued to climb, so experts advised examining the menus of restaurants in your area to see if they use any oysters that have been imported from the Pacific coast of Canada.
— NHS Norfolk & Waveney CCG (@NHSNWCCG) May 4, 2022
How is Norovirus Spread?
People who have been infected with norovirus vomit and excrement and the virus can be easily transmitted from person to person. Several mechanisms can lead to a person becoming infected, including:
- being near someone who has been afflicted (for example, caring for or sharing foods or eating utensils with someone who is ill)
- consuming norovirus-infected food or beverages, such as those contaminated by food handled by a sick person or seafood caught from polluted waters and served raw.
- before washing their hands, they contact potentially contaminated surfaces or objects and then put their hands in their mouths.
Even after a person has recovered from a norovirus infection, the virus can persist in their system for up to two weeks. To prevent the virus from spreading, make sure all surfaces are well cleaned and disinfected.
Symptoms of Norovirus
The stomach and intestines are inflamed by norovirus. Diarrhoea, vomiting, and nausea are all common symptoms, as is stomach pain or cramping. Another set of symptoms includes a low-grade temperature with accompanying symptoms including headaches and muscle aches. In most cases, Norovirus symptoms appear between 12 and 48 hours following infection.
A Norovirus infection usually clears itself within 1 to 3 days, although it can make a person sick to the point of frequent vomiting and diarrhoea. Dehydration may result, especially in youngsters, the elderly, and those suffering from other ailments.
For a Norovirus infection, there is no specific treatment. Avoid dehydration by drinking enough water to replace the fluids lost during vomiting and diarrhoea. Consult your doctor if you get dehydrated.
Reduced urine, a dry mouth and throat, and dizziness upon rising are all signs of dehydration. In addition to having little or no tears, dehydrated children may also be unusually drowsy or cranky.
Norovirus-infected children need to stay hydrated. Fortunately, most Norovirus illnesses are self-limiting and can be treated with patience and care.
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Stopping Transmission of Norovirus
- Hand washing and food handling are the best techniques to prevent the spread of germs.
- At least two days after symptoms begin to subside, infected people should stay at home and refrain from taking care of others and making food.
- Disinfect surfaces and objects that have come into touch with vomit or diarrhoea with bleach or detergent in the washing machine.
- After handling hazardous things, wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Visit the California Department of Public Health’s Norovirus webpage for further information.