Norovirus: How to protect yourself at the Olympics or at home

The virus has found a home at the Olympics in addition to also is actually spreading rapidly. The PyeongChang Organizing Committee had confirmed 128 cases by Thursday. Competitors in addition to also attendees alike are being warned to be extra careful about proper hand hygiene in hopes of stemming the tide of infections.

According to the committee, on Sunday, private-security personnel staying at the Horeb Youth Center reported symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach pain in addition to also headaches. Provincial in addition to also federal officials launched an immediate investigation into the 1,023 youth center residents.

Water in addition to also food are being tested to trace the route of transmission, nevertheless according to the Ministry of Food in addition to also Drug Safety in addition to also the Ministry of Environment, all results have been negative.

The illness has caused a shortage of healthy security workers, so 900 military personnel have been deployed to take over the effort across 20 venues until the affected staff are able to return to duty.

What is actually norovirus?

Norovirus is actually a group of related viruses within the Caliciviridae family. in which’s spread through the ingestion of infectious virions, which grow within the tiny intestine before being expelled in feces.

Dr. Sarah Hochman, associate hospital epidemiologist at NYU Langone Health, says “norovirus is actually a viral infection in which is actually either person-to-person or spread through eating contaminated food, in addition to also in which causes truly an acute onset of vomiting in addition to also diarrhea in which lasts anywhere by one to three days.”

Norovirus: The most common stomach bug

Norovirus can be found in an infected person’s feces even before they start feeling sick in addition to also two weeks or more after they feel better.

Anyone can get norovirus in addition to also can be infected many times over the course of their life. “A reason just for in which is actually in which there are many different types of noroviruses,” the US Centers for Disease Control in addition to also Prevention says. “Being infected with one type of norovirus may not protect you against additional types.”

You are most contagious when you are feeling sick in addition to also during the first few days after you recover by the illness, according to the CDC.

The virus in addition to also food

Infection usually occurs when someone eats food or drinks liquids in which have been contaminated, touches surfaces or objects in which are contaminated in addition to also then puts their hands in their mouth, or has contact with someone who has been infected, such as by sharing food.

Most norovirus outbreaks happen in food service settings, the CDC says. Food workers who touch foods with their bare hands before serving are frequently the source. Any food served raw or handled after being cooked — such as oysters or fruits in addition to also vegetables — can become contaminated.

“If you have fresh fruits or vegetables in which may have been grown in an area in which got contaminated either by sewage or water in which had norovirus in in which, in which is actually another way of in which entering the food we eat,” said Hochman.

Symptoms in addition to also prevention

According to the CDC, norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach, the intestines or both. A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed.

“The main symptoms are diarrhea in addition to also throwing up. Some people also have fevers in addition to also muscle aches, nevertheless the real hallmark of in which infection is actually the pretty abrupt onset of these symptoms,” Hochman said.

additional symptoms include stomach pain, fever, headaches or body aches.

As for preventing infection, “hand-washing is actually the most important thing, in which is actually using soap in addition to also water,” Hochman said. “I know a lot of us use the alcohol-based hand rubs … nevertheless the alcohol-based hand rubs are not effective in killing the viral particles.” She also recommends using bleach to clean surfaces.

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Another frequent prevention strategy is actually quarantine. Hochman suggests isolating people who could have been exposed to norovirus because the symptoms begin relatively abruptly after exposure.

“in which is actually anywhere by 12 to 48 hours, so as long as those people who maybe shared a room or bathroom with someone diagnosed with norovirus can be quarantined for 48 hours in addition to also watched to make sure in which they don’t develop any symptoms, in which is actually a way to try in addition to also prevent the spread to additional people,” she said.

The CDC recommends practicing proper hand hygiene, washing fruits in addition to also vegetables in addition to also cooking food thoroughly before eating, not preparing food for others when you feel sick, in addition to also cleaning in addition to also disinfecting contaminated surfaces.

“Norovirus is actually tricky in in which in which is actually highly, highly infectious. in which only takes a few viral particles to cause infection, in addition to also the virus itself can remain infectious on surfaces for fairly long periods of time,” Hochman said.

There is actually no specific medicine or vaccine to treat norovirus, nevertheless most people recover fully without treatment.

Risk to athletes

“The biggest risk is actually dehydration, which is actually more important for athletes than anyone else, especially if they are anticipated to perform within the next one to two weeks,” Hochman said.

Dehydration is actually linked to norovirus because in which’s hard for those infected to take in as much fluid as they are losing to vomiting in addition to also diarrhea. People suffering dehydration may not urinate as much, may feel dizzy in addition to also may have a dry mouth or throat.

In order to prevent dehydration, the CDC suggests drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, sports drinks or oral rehydration fluids.

According to Hochman, recovery time depends on the severity of the infection. Even after the vomiting in addition to also diarrhea subside, some residual weakness may take another three to 5 days to recover — also not ideal for athletes planning on competing.

sy88pgw’s Jen Christensen in addition to also Jacque Smith contributed to in which report.

Norovirus: How to protect yourself at the Olympics or at home

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