Fight the Cruise-Ship Virus a.k.a Norovirus with this Guide

Updated at: Jul 03, 2014
Fight the Cruise-Ship Virus a.k.a Norovirus with this Guide

The dreaded norovirus has been found to be accounting for about one-fifth of all cases of gastroenteritis in the world. Meanwhile, this guide will help you protect yourself from the virus attack.

Vasudha Bhat
Digestive DiseasesWritten by: Vasudha BhatPublished at: Jul 03, 2014

With the findings of a recent study, reach of the dreaded norovirus has been seen to be widened further as it is believed to be accounting for about one-fifth of all cases of gastroenteritis across the globe.

This study was published in The Lancent Infectious Diseases and threw light on the increasing need to develop a vaccine for preventing the attack of vomiting and diarrhea triggered by the norovirus. Norovirus being contagious in nature can spread from person to person through the consumption of contaminated food or water.

To eradicate the virus has become the need of the hour as the rates of gastroenteritis caused by norovirus have been found to be 20 per cent in developed and 14-19 per cent in developing countries.

Norovirus cannot be brought under control just by improving the sanitation or hygiene conditions. There is much more to be done to eliminate it completely and to do so, we must first know how and why the virus attacks the stomach.

Norovirus Prevention

What is Norovirus Infection?

The norovirus infection leads to a sudden incidence of vomiting and diarrhea. The virus is highly contagious and can spread quickly through contaminated water or food. People living in closed and crowded areas like hospitals, nursing homes, schools and cruise ships are more vulnerable to this infection.

What are the Common Symptoms?

The common signs and symptoms of norovirus infection include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomitting
  • Pain in the abdomen or cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Malaise
  • Low grade fever
  • Muscle pain

Once the person gets infected with the virus, the symptoms start showing up after 24 to 48 hours of exposure. However, in some people the infection may show no symptoms but can spread quickly to other healthy people in the surrounding.


Norovirus Prevention

What Causes Norovirus Infection?

Noroviruses are usually shed in the feces of infected patients and animals. However, there are other ways of transmission like:

  • Consuming contaminated food
  • Drinking contaminated water
  • Taking your hand near your mouth after touching an infected surface or person
  • Staying in close contact with a person who has already been infected by the virus.

It is very difficult to get rid of noroviruses as they can sustain in harsh cold or hot weathers. Also, many disinfectants do not work on these viruses.

How Does the Virus Attack Stomach?

There are many factors which contribute to the attack of norovirus on your body. Some of the factors which put you at a high risk of the attack include:

  • Having a weak immune system
  • Staying in a place where food is cooked in unhygienic conditions
  • Living in closed spaces like nursing homes
  • Staying with people in packed spaces like hotels, resorts, cruise ships, etc.

Having hygienic surroundings and maintaining proper personal hygiene can cut down the risk of attack of being attacked by norovirus to a large extent.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

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