Whether you’ve recently eaten at your favorite restaurant, spent time out with friends, or shared a drink with someone you know, you’re susceptible to catching a foodborne illness. It can come from out of nowhere; one moment, you’re having a lovely time, and the next thing you know, you’re clinging to the porcelain throne.
You feel queasy, tired, and overall unhappy. How could this have happened? Here’s what you need to know about norovirus infection and how to recover.
What Is the Norovirus?
Norovirus is a highly contagious stomach virus, easily passing directly or indirectly through contact with infected people. While it’s a highly common stomach and intestinal tract infection, it’s never a pleasant experience. The norovirus is a form of food poisoning, as you can obtain it through eating contaminated food.
Causes of Norovirus Infection
As previously mentioned, norovirus is highly contagious and can come from numerous sources. Common places for norovirus outbreaks include spending time in the hospital, school, or daycare center—spreading faster in close quarters. It also can occur on cruise ships, hotels, and resorts.
Additionally, you can contract it from an infected person, especially if exposed to their stool or vomit. You can also contract it by sharing foods, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
One thing you need to know about norovirus infection is the symptoms. After 12 to 48 hours after exposure, you’ll experience a range of symptoms from mild to severe. Some symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low-grade fever
- Body Aches
- Watery stool or diarrhea
- Abdominal cramping or pain
It’s also essential that you recognize symptoms of dehydration after contraction. These symptoms include sunken eyes, decreased output of urine, dark urine, dry mouth and throat, headache, dizziness, and rapid heart rate. If you’re experiencing dehydration, seek medical care right away.
Norovirus Infection Remedies and Treatments
While there is no specific medicine to cure norovirus, the best recovery methods are resting and hydrating. Get plenty of sleep and replenish fluids as often as you can. You also need a source of electrolytes, such as sports drinks and broths. Stay away from sugary foods and beverages, as they can worsen diarrhea. Lastly, avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can worsen your symptoms as well.
As for diet, eat foods that are bland and in small portions. Foods such as soups, rice, eggs, crackers, and Jell-O will digest easier and help you stay full.
Contracting norovirus is never a fun experience. If you do, have patience and wait it out by resting, drinking water, and keeping yourself comfortable until complete recovery.