A Norovirus is a group of viruses that cause the stomach flu, or gastroenteritis in people. The term norovirus was recently approved as the official name for this group of viruses. Several other names have been used for noroviruses, including: Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs), Caliciviruses (because they belong to the virus family Caliciviridae), and small round structured viruses. Noroviruses are not affected by treatment with antibiotics, and cannot grow outside of a person’s body.
Noroviruses are found in the stool or vomit of infected people. People can become infected with the virus in several ways, including:
- Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus
- Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus, and then placing their hand in their mouth
- Having direct contact with another person who is infected and showing symptoms (for example, when caring for someone with illness, or sharing foods or eating utensils with someone who is ill).
Persons working in day-care centers or nursing homes should pay special attention to children or residents who have norovirus illness. This virus is very contagious and can spread rapidly throughout such environments.
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 the illness. However, sometimes people are unable to drink enough liquids to replenish the liquids they lost because of vomiting and diarrhea. These individuals can become dehydrated and may need special medical attention. This problem with dehydration is usually only seen among the very young, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems. Noroviruses are very contagious and can spread easily from person to person. Both stool and vomit are infectious. Particular care should be taken with young children in diapers who may have diarrhea.
- To decrease your 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 vomitus and/or stool in the toilet and make sure that the surrounding area is kept clean.
Legal Help For Victims Affected By Norovirus
If you or a loved one developed a Norovirus as a result of eating contaminated foods or liquids and you developed serious health ailments, you may be entitled to compensation, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).