Does it seem like everyone you know has a stomach bug right now? While Connecticut continues to experience a decline in COVID-19 and RSV cases this month, cases of norovirus have been rising both locally and nationally. Here’s what you need to know about this virus.
What is norovirus?
Norovirus is a contagious virus that causes vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain. It spreads from physical contact and through contaminated foods and surfaces. Since it’s so contagious, outbreaks are common.
How to protect yourself from norovirus:
Just like with COVID-19 and other viruses, the best defense is frequent handwashing – especially when you’re in public. Hand sanitizer does not work well against norovirus, so make sure you’re lathering up with good old-fashioned soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Also be sure that you’re carefully washing fruits and veggies, and cooking shellfish thoroughly.
What to do if you become ill:
There is no specific treatment or medicine for norovirus. The best thing to do is to rest and drink lots of fluids like water and sports drinks. Elderly people and young children are most at risk of becoming dehydrated so monitor their fluid intake closely. Symptoms usually last 48-72 hours with a rapid recovery.
If you come down with norovirus, stay home and avoid preparing food for others until two days after your symptoms have resolved.
About the Author
Asha Shah, MD, MS, is the director of infectious diseases at Stamford Health.
Featured Expert/ Author