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Norovirus Infection – Treatment and Prevention

These are a group of viruses which cause gastroenteritis in human beings. This is also known as a waterborne infection. Gastroenteritis is basically an inflammation of the intestines and stomach lining. This term, norovirus actually represents a group of viruses, although there are several other names by which were earlier used:

  • Small round structured viruses
  • Caliciviruses (belongs to the virus family, Caliciviridae)
  • Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs)

Treatment for Norovirus Infection

To prevent and treat norovirus infection, there is no vaccine available at present. Also, there is no drug available to treat the infected people. If you have contracted norovirus infection, any type of antibiotic drugs will not help. The reason is that the antibiotics help in treating bacterial infections, not viral infections.

This form of illness lasts for a brief period in infected individuals who are healthy otherwise. Although, this infection can cause diarrhea and severe vomiting. This also leads to

dehydration

. The symptoms of dehydration in children and adults include dizzy feeling while standing up, a dry throat and mouth and less urination. Hence, it is necessary to prevent the development of dehydration during norovirus infection.

One of the preventive measures is to drink adequate fluids. The most useful form of fluid is

oral re hydration fluids (ORF)

. Drinks which are devoid of alcohol or caffeine can effectively aid in mild dehydration conditions. Although, this form of drinks cannot replace the essential minerals and nutrients lost due to diarrhea and vomiting.

You can also use

oral re hydration solutions

which are available in the form of pre-mixed fluids in U.S. food and drug stores. These products include Pedialyte, Oralyte, Naturalyte, Kao Lectrolyte and Infalyte.

Prevention of Norovirus Infection

One can reduce the risk of contracting norovirus illness by simply following a few effective preventive steps:

  • Frequently washing your hands, before preparing or eating food
  • Carefully washing vegetables and fruits before consuming
  • After an episode of infection, immediately cleaning and disinfecting any contaminated surfaces with the help of bleach-based cleaner.

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