Norovirus is the most common type of gastroenteritis. According to the CDC, it causes over 650 million cases per year worldwide. It is a very common illness that is common among children, so it is important to know the symptoms and prevention. AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale has all the information you may need to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy this season. 

How do you catch norovirus?

Norovirus is extremely contagious and can be caught in a few different ways. One way is through food or water that has been contaminated with the virus. Another is through touching surfaces that are also contaminated with the illness and then touching your nose or mouth. Lastly, direct contact with someone who is infected is another way to get sick, and this includes sharing food or beverages, shaking hands, or being in close contact. It is possible to spread norovirus up to two weeks after initial symptoms, so it is important to maintain a distance from others while you are recovering. 

Can I prevent catching norovirus?

It is possible to prevent catching norovirus as long as you are careful. There are a handful of ways to stay safe, however, if you live with someone who has norovirus, your chance of getting it is very high. Properly washing food before preparing and cooking to the correct internal temperature can help kill off norovirus molecules. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after eating or after cleaning potentially contaminated surfaces. Any clothing should be washed at the highest possible water temperature. Use laundry detergent and set for the longest cycle. 

What are treatment options?

There is no specific treatment for norovirus, and there is currently no vaccine. The virus usually runs its course within a few days, but getting plenty of rest can help speed up the process. It is important to stay hydrated throughout the duration, as well. Norovirus can be extremely dehydrating, so drinking plenty of water can keep you from getting dehydrated. Severe dehydration can lead to complications and hospitalization. Children, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions are at risk of developing complications from norovirus, including dehydration. It is important to monitor symptoms and watch for unusual fussiness in children.

For more information regarding norovirus, call AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale. Our physicians are trained to give you and your loved ones the best possible care for a variety of injuries and illnesses. Visit us today, or call us at 201-523-9222.