The Norovirus

You’ve heard about the flu and all of the symptoms that go along with it but have you ever heard of the norovirus?  Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that presents itself like the flu but includes gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.  Norovirus can be spread in many ways including on environmental surfaces, through person-to-person contact, and can be aerosolized from vomit and fecal matter.  It is extremely important to wash your hands often and avoid contact with those who have been diagnosed with the norovirus, or are presenting symptoms of it.

The incubation period for this virus is 24-48 hours and can last for 16-20 hours. The most common symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain.  Other symptoms include fever, headache, and body aches.  It is important to stay hydrated and give your body the rest it needs.

Because it is so contagious try to stay home from work or keep your child home from school.  Food preparers and health care workers should not return to work until 72 hours after recovering from the illness to prevent spread. Surfaces contaminated with feces or vomit should be disinfected with bleach solution concentrated to 100-500 ppm (5-25 tablespoons per gallon of water). Use gloves while handling soiled linens and wash linens well in hot water. Norovirus can stay in the stool for 2 weeks after a patient feels better.

If you think you have symptoms of the norovirus and need medical attention, please stop into AFC Doctors Express Urgent Care Waltham 7-days a week from 8am to 8pm to see one of our board-certified physicians.  Our average wait time is under 15 minutes.

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