Norovirus in Healthcare Settings

General Information concerning Norovirus
Noroviruses are a cluster of viruses that cause gastroenteritis [gas-tro-en-ter-i-tis] in people. Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the lining of the abdomen and intestines, causing an acute onset of severe vomiting and diarrhea. Norovirus illness is sometimes transient in folks who are otherwise healthy. Young youngsters, the elderly, and folks with other medical illnesses are most in danger for additional severe or prolonged infection. Like all viral infections, noroviruses don’t seem to be full of treatment with antibiotics. Norovirus infections unfold very rapidly. Healthcare facilities and other institutional settings (e.g., daycare centers, faculties, etc.) are significantly at-risk for outbreaks as a result of of increased person-to-person contact.

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Symptoms of Norovirus
The symptoms of norovirus illness typically embrace nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Generally folks additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. People may suddenly feel terribly sick and vomit frequently or have many episodes of diarrhea, however most individuals get better among 1 or 2 days and they need no long-term health effects related to their illness. Diarrhea is additional common in kids and vomiting is more common in adults.

In some cases, individuals are unable to drink enough liquids to interchange the liquids they lost because of frequent vomiting and diarrhea. This is named dehydration—the loss of a great deal of water from their body. Symptoms of dehydration embody decreased urination, dry mouth and throat, and dizziness when standing up. In these cases, patients may be hospitalized and usually given fluids through a tube placed during a vein.

Transmission of Norovirus
Noroviruses are found within the feces and vomit of infected people. This virus is terribly contagious and can spread rapidly throughout healthcare facilities. People can become infected with the virus in many ways that:

Having direct contact with another one that is infected (a healthcare employee, visitor, or another patient)
Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus
Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus, and then touching your mouth or other food things

Prevention of Norovirus
In a healthcare facility, patients with suspected norovirus could be placed in private rooms or share rooms with alternative patients with the identical infection. Extra prevention measures in healthcare facilities will decrease the chance of coming involved with noroviruses:

Follow hand-hygiene tips, and carefully laundry of hands with soap and water when contact with patients with norovirus infection
Use gowns and gloves when in touch with, or caring for patients who are symptomatic with norovirus
Routinely clean and disinfect high touch patient surfaces and equipment with an Environmental Protection Agency-approved product with a label claim for norovirus
Remove and wash contaminated clothing or linens
Healthcare workers who have symptoms in keeping with norovirus ought to be excluded from work