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Now Tracking: Norovirus

2/15/2013

Now Tracking Norovirus

Noroviruses are a group of related viruses including Norwalk, Snow Mountain, and Hawaii viruses. Infection causes gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and it is commonly referred to in the UK as 'winter vomiting bug', and also known as the 'Cruise Ship Virus' (not good news for passengers of this recent cruise - or the port city of Mobile, AL for that matter). It can spread from person to person, or through contaminated food or water. You can also get it if you touch a contaminated surface. Norovirus can be serious, especially for young children and older adults.

    The most common symptoms of norovirus infection are:
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • May also include fever, headache or body aches.

Treatment includes bed rest and lots of liquids to prevent dehydration. And no, liquids should not include coffee, beer or Jägermeister. There is no specific medicine to treat norovirus infections, although ironically Jägermeister may beat it at its own game. There's something to be said for fighting fire with fire. But seriously, don't drink Jägermeister to treat Norovirus. Don't drink Jägermeister at all. Ever. Hmmm... that could be a new Sickweather PSA.

Proper hand washing and safe food preparation may help prevent infections, as well as knowing ahead of time where it's going around now that Norovirus is among the 27 different symptoms and illnesses that we are tracking at Sickweather. And as G.I. Joe used to say, "Knowing is half the battle."

Knowing is half the battle

Submitted by Graham Dodge, CEO & Co-Founder

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