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Norovirus Infections Spread like Wildfire: Recent Outbreaks Sicken Hundreds (*Thousands)

MAR 09, 2016 | SARAH ANWAR


The virus can be found in stool before an individual starts to experience symptoms, and for two weeks afterwards. Individuals usually present the following symptoms 12-48 hours after viral exposure:
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration (resulting in dizziness and dry mouth and throat)
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
Drinking plenty of liquids is important to avoid dehydration so as to prevent further related illnesses.


Since there is no specific medication to treat norovirus, it is crucial to take the necessary preventive precautions, most importantly, proper handwashing, as advised by David Weismantel, MD, MS, university physician at MSU. Fruits and vegetables should always be washed properly to avoid norovirus infection, as well as other food borne illnesses. Not only this, but any shellfish should be cooked at temperatures exceeding 140°F. Infected individuals should not be in close proximity of places where food is kept or prepared and it is important to routinely disinfect all virus-contaminated surfaces with chlorine (a concentration of 1000-5000 parts per million, or by diluting 5-25 tablespoons of household bleach in a gallon of water).
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Influenza A (H3N2) has caused most of the illnesses in this severe flu season, but influenza B is becoming increasingly responsible for more infections as the flu season continues to hit the United States.