Norovirus is similar to food poisoning. It is a stomach bug that can make you feel very ill for a few days, but it typically resolves itself. It does not require any specific care, but AFC Urgent Care Boulder County can provide you with all of the information you may need. Learn more about the general illnesses we can diagnose and treat here.
How is norovirus caused?
Norovirus is extremely contagious and can be caught in a few different ways. You can get norovirus through contaminated food or water or close contact with someone who is currently infected. It is possible to shed the virus even after you are not showing symptoms, so be sure to avoid close contact with others for at least a week after symptoms end. Symptoms typically last anywhere from one to three days and can begin within two days after exposure. Signs you have norovirus include:
- Stomach pains or cramps
- Low-grade fever
If you are still showing symptoms after three days or have blood in your stool, you should seek medical attention. Be sure to monitor your symptoms for severity and lookout for signs of dehydration. For infants or children, this can include crying without producing tears. Dehydration is the most significant complication risk of norovirus. The elderly, those with underlying health conditions, and children are at the highest risk of complications and dehydration.
If you live with someone who has norovirus, disinfect all surfaces that they may come in contact with. This can include doorknobs or counters. Do not eat food that they have prepared, as this can cause cross-contamination. Be sure to always cook meat, poultry, and seafood to their proper internal temperatures to kill off any harmful viruses. Additionally, washing ready-to-eat foods and properly freezing or refrigerating can lower your risk of exposure. While preparing food, be sure to wash your hands and always wash them before you eat.
What are the best treatment options for norovirus?
There is no specific medication for norovirus as it is caused by a virus. Getting plenty of rest can help build up your immune system that will then fight off the virus. Additionally, drink plenty of clear liquids such as water. This can help you avoid becoming dehydrated. Avoid foods and drinks that can make your symptoms worse. This includes caffeine, alcohol, greasy or fatty foods, and soda. Chicken broth, boiled vegetables, and bananas are some examples of food that can help settle your stomach.
For more information on the treatment of norovirus and foods you should eat, call AFC Urgent Care Boulder County. Our trained physicians can give you the best treatment options for your illness. Call us today at 720-961-9700.