What is Norovirus?

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The UK has been witnessing a steady increase in the number of norovirus cases in recent weeks.

About Norovirus

  • It is a very contagious virus that causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • It is also sometimes referred to as the ‘stomach flu’ or the ‘winter vomiting bug’.
  • However, norovirus illness is not related to the flu, which is caused by the influenza virus.
  • People of all ages can get infected and sick with norovirus.
  • People can get the norovirus illness many times in their lives because there are many different types of noroviruses. Infection with one type of norovirus may not give protection against other types.
  • Transmission: People can catch Norovirus from
    • close contact with someone with Norovirus
    • touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, then touching the mouth
    • eating food that's been prepared or handled by someone with Norovirus
  • Is norovirus seasonal?
    • Norovirus outbreaks usually happen seasonally in the colder months. 
    • It occurs most often between November and April in countries above the equator and between April and September in countries below the equator.
    • There’s usually no specific season for outbreaks in areas on the equator.
  • Symptoms:
    • The initial symptoms of norovirus are vomiting and/or diarrhea, which show up one or two days after exposure to the virus.
    • Patients also feel nauseous and suffer from abdominal pain, fever, headaches, and body aches.
    • In extreme cases, the loss of fluids could lead to dehydration.
  • Treatment:
    • No vaccines are currently available to prevent norovirus.
    • Treatment for the infection focuses on relieving the symptoms.
    • It is important to maintain hydration in the acute phase. In extreme cases, patients have to be administered rehydration fluids intravenously.

Q1) What is a Virus?

A virus is an infectious microbe consisting of a segment of nucleic acid (either DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein coat. A virus cannot replicate alone; instead, it must infect cells and use components of the host cell to make copies of itself. Often, a virus ends up killing the host cell in the process, causing damage to the host organism. Well-known examples of viruses causing human disease include AIDS, COVID-19, measles and smallpox.

Source: Norovirus Cases Rise In UK, More Than 1,500 Infected