Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause gastroenteritis (stomach flu) in people. Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines. Like all viral infections, noroviruses are not affected by treatment with antibiotics and cannot grow outside of a person’s body.
What are the symptoms of illness caused by noroviruses?
The symptoms of norovirus illness usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people also have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people the illness is self-limiting, with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days.
How do people become infected with noroviruses:
Noroviruses are found in the stool and vomit of infected people. This virus is very contagious and can spread rapidly throughout such environments. People can become infected with the virus in several ways:
- By eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus
- By touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus, and then placing their hand in their mouth
- By having direct contact with another person who is infected (for example, when caring for someone with illness, or sharing foods or eating utensils with someone who is ill)
How serious is norovirus disease:
People may feel very sick and vomit many times a day, but most people get better within 1 or 2 days, and they have no long-term health effects related to their illness. However, sometimes people are unable to drink enough liquids to replace the liquids they lost because of vomiting and diarrhea. These persons can become dehydrated (lose too much water from their body) and may need special medical attention.
Can norovirus infections be prevented?
We can decrease the chance of coming in contact with noroviruses by following these preventive steps:
- Frequently wash your hands, especially after toilet visits and changing diapers and before eating or preparing food.
- Carefully wash fruits and vegetables, and steam oysters before eating them.
- Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of illness by using a bleach-based household cleaner.
- Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with virus after an episode of illness (use hot water and soap).
- Flush or discard any vomits and/or stool in the toilet and make sure that the surrounding area is kept clean.
When do symptoms appear?
Symptoms of Norovirus illness usually begin about 24 to 48 hours after getting infected through the virus.
Vaccine for Norovirus infection: There is no vaccine to prevent norovirus infection. And there is no drug to treat people who are infected with the virus. Antibiotic drugs will not help if you have norovirus infection. This is because they fight against bacteria not viruses.
Complications: The infection can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea. This can lead to dehydration. The best way to protect against dehydration is to drink plenty of liquids. In case of severe dehydration contact your healthcare provider.
Children and Norovirus: Homeopathy works wonderful on Norovirus and especially the children who are infected with this virus. Homeopathy not even fight against this virus but also promote the general health.
Homeopathic Management of Norovirus:
As I mentioned earlier that Norovirus is a virus, antibiotics will not be prescribed, but homeopathy can help very effectively on the illnesses which this virus produces. The reader should keep in their mind that Homeopathy is patient centered and thus the remedies are prescribed to suit the particular individual and their set of symptoms. Thus any persistent symptoms should be seen by a doctor.
There are many possible remedies that could help symptoms of this particular illness but here we would like to mention few them. If you are uncertain which is the most appropriate, please contact your homeopath to discuss your symptoms.
Arsenicum album 30C: Vomiting and diarrhea with great mental restlessness and anxiety with profound fear of death. Thirst for small sips of water. Burning pain after stool. Aggravated by sight, smell or even the thought of food. Exhaustion which can be sudden and extreme. There can be a faint feeling, with a fever alternating chills. Cold sweat on forehead during and prostration after. Worse after midnight. Good remedy for food poisoning.
Ipecac 30C: Constant nausea and frequent vomiting, however vomiting gives no relief from the nausea, worse at night. Sleepy after vomiting. Worse for any movement, after eating and for smell of food. Hot or cold sweat. Stomach feels relaxed, as if hanging down; clutching, squeezing, griping, as from a hand, each finger sharply pressing into intestines; worse from motion. Flatulent, cutting colic about umbilicus. Clean tongue.
Phosphorus 30C: Frequent vomiting. Great thirst for water and ice cold drinks but vomits up shortly afterwards. Vomits even the smallest amount of food and drink. Vomiting will often occur 15 minutes after drinking. Diarrhea gushes out painlessly.
Podophylum 30C: Painless diarrhea. Diarrhea worse early in morning continues through forenoon, and accompanied by sensation of weakness. Fear he is going to be very ill. Diarrhea like gushing out. Thirst for large quantities of cold water.
Veratrum album 30C: Copious vomiting and nausea; worse least motion. Great weakness after vomiting. Nausea, with profuse salivation and violent thirst. Vomiting with suffocating sensation, redness and heat in face. Cold feeling in stomach and abdomen. Stomach as if weak, with internal sensation of coldness. Diarrhea is frequent, watery, gushing; cutting pain in stomach; prostrating, cold sweat on forehead during and prostration after. Excessive vomiting with nausea and great prostration; worse after drinking and by motion; great weakness after.
Note: The improvement continues, no further doses are required. If the patient relapses after an improvement, give another dose of the same remedy.
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