Norovirus is a common and highly contagious illness that typically begins by eating contaminated foods. While it is sometimes referred to as stomach flu, the norovirus is completely unrelated to the influenza virus, though some symptoms may overlap. Symptoms can arise quickly. If you begin to experience symptoms of the norovirus, visit your local walk-in urgent care center for immediate diagnosis and care for the correct symptoms.
What are the symptoms of the Norovirus?
Symptoms will appear within the first 48 hours of exposure and can be similar to those of the flu, including:
- Head and full-body aches
Patients may experience stomach cramps and pain as well as fatigue. Symptoms should diminish within two days, though more serious cases may go on longer. If you are not feeling relief within two days, visit Urgent Care of Mercer County for testing and treatment. Patients who may require hospitalization for the virus include seniors, young children and patients with compromised immune systems to monitor symptoms including high fevers. The norovirus is contagious for up to three days after recovery.
How the Norovirus Spreads
The norovirus spreads through two main ways: consuming food that is contaminated or by touching a surface that has been contaminated and immediately touching your eyes, mouth or nose without washing your hands first. If you are in close proximity to a person who is throwing up from their symptoms, you may catch the virus as droplets move through the air. The norovirus is most common in places where people are kept in close quarters such as dormitories or on cruise ships, where people can be infected at the same time by a cook who does not realize they have the virus before they handle food. Since it takes time to determine if it is the norovirus, outbreaks can occur that take several days to control.
How is Norovirus Treated?
The norovirus is resistant to antibiotics, so you cannot take medications to treat it. Drinking plenty of fluids, including water and electrolyte-rich sports drinks, can replenish lost fluids and provide necessary nutrients as you fight the virus. Cases can be prevented by avoiding raw or undercooked foods, especially seafood or meat, and making sure you are regularly washing your hands throughout the day with soap and hot water for at least 30 seconds to kill lingering germs. Avoid preparing food for at least three days after your symptoms are gone to avoid infecting others.
Norovirus Diagnosis & Treatment in Hamilton, Trenton & Chesterfield, NJ
If you begin to feel sick, visit Urgent Care of Mercer County for diagnosis and treatment! Our center is open seven days a week and walk-in patients are always accepted. For questions, please call 609.890.4100.