Norovirus infection occurs most frequently in closed and crowded environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, child care centers, schools and cruise ships. Because there are multiple strains of the virus and the fact that the body does not produce a strong immune response to the infection, experts believe it is possible to contract norovirus infection more than once in a lifetime.
Norovirus Infection Causes
Norovirus is a highly contagious infection that can cause the sudden onset of severe vomiting and diarrhea. It is commonly spread through food or water prepared on a contaminated surface or in close contact with an infected person. The virus is shed in the feces of infected humans and animals. Methods of transmission include:
- Eating contaminated food
- Drinking contaminated water
- Touching your hand to your mouth after your hand has been in contact with a contaminated surface or object
- Being in close contact with a person who has a norovirus infection
Also, it is hard to prevent norovirus since the virus can withstand hot and cold temperatures as well as most disinfectants.
Diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting typically begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure. Symptoms last one to three days, and most people recover completely without treatment. However, for some people such as infants, older adults and people with an underlying disease the vomiting and diarrhea can be severely dehydrating and require medical attention.
- Abdominal pain or cramps
- Watery or loose diarrhea
- Low-grade fever
- Muscle pain
An infected person can still be contagious for up to two weeks or even several months. Some people with norovirus infection may show no signs or symptoms. However, they are still contagious and can spread the virus to others.
For most people, norovirus infection clears up within a few days and isn’t life-threatening. However, children and older adults with compromised immune systems with a norovirus infection can develop severe dehydration, malnutrition, and even death. Parents should be aware that a child with a norovirus infection may cry with few or no tears due to dehydration. They may also be unusually sleepy or fussy.
Warning signs of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth and throat
- Decreased urine output
Help after a Norovirus Infection
When you experience side effects from severe food poisoning, it can have devastating effects on your entire life. A verdict or settlement could also provide compensation for your injuries and damages. The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is currently accepting Norovirus infection injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured by an outbreak of Norovirus poisoning, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation.