Many people are affected each year by what is commonly misdiagnosed as “stomach flu.” However, the medical term for this condition is Norovirus. The Norovirus is also known as Norwalk-like viruses, SRSV (small round structured viruses), or “winter vomiting disease” as it often affects the host during the winter months. The condition may come upon the sufferer at any time; not just during the winter months. SRSV is a grouping of a number of viruses, which is the most common cause and reason for upset stomach (gastroenteritis) within the USA, Great Britain, and Western Europe (Nordqvist, 2010). Infection with Norovirus causes gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines), which most commonly results in diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach cramping. The Norovirus illness is to as stomach flu, although it is not related to the flu. The flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus and not the group or viruses causing the Norovirus (“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”, 2011).
The Norvirus is very contagious and can be spread easily from person to person. It can take anywhere from 12 to 48 before a person notices that they are infected. This infection can last between one and three days, and will not cause any long-term damage to the host after the infection has resolved itself. Typically, a doctor’s visit is not warranted; although vomiting and diarrhea can be severely dehydrating and require medical attention (Mayo Clinic, 98-2011). It is important that infected persons refrain from food preparation until the infection has subsided. The virus can be found in the vomit and fecal matter of an infected individual. Infection may come about in a number of ways, including partaking in food or drinks contaminated by infected food handlers. The infection is also spread by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the Norovirus and then touching one’s mouth before hand-washing. Direct contact with another
References: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.(2011, Oct 03). Retrieved October 03, 2011, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/norovirus-foodhandlers.htm The Minnesota Department of Health.(2011). Retrieved October 3, 2011, from Minnesota Department of Health website: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/norovirus/prevention.html Nordqvist, C. (2010, Febuary 13). MediLexicon International Ltd. Retrieved Oct 3, 2011, from Medical News Today: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com Sloan, G. (2011, January 01). 2011 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. Retrieved October 03, 2011, from USA Today Travel website: http://travel.usatoday.com Mayo Clinic. (98-2011, August 02). 1998-2011 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Retrieved October 3, 2011, from Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research website: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/norovirus/DS00942 The Virginia Department of Health. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/factsheets/norovirus.htm Zimmerman, R. (2011, Febuary 23). WebMD LLC. Retrieved Oct 3, 2011, from Medscape website: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/737884