After three cases of Norovirus on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, we verify the facts about the highly-contagious illness.
To verify, we talked to Dr. David Priest, an infectious disease specialist at Novant Health.
Norovirus symptoms are nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, low-grade fever and muscle pain. It can contaminate the environment around you -- for example, when someone throws up. It can also contaminate food, especially shellfish, fruits and vegetables. All in all, it is highly contagious.
"If you wanted to design a virus that was going to lead to the most outbreaks, Norovirus checks all the boxes. It doesn't take very many virus particles to infect you, Dr. Priest said.
Norovirus is often misdiagnosed, especially if you self-diagnose and think you have food poisoning or the flu. As for treatment, there's no antibiotic, and the only cure includes hydration electrolytes and plenty of rest.
"You need to go 48 hours without symptoms before you go back to work or school. We live in a society that says go to work, no matter how you're feeling. But, if you're throwing up, have diarrhea, stay home," Dr. Priest explained.
Once you get Norovirus once, you can get it again. There is no way to build immunity. Fortunately, Norovirus is usually not deadly.
Norovirus is easy to contract, and the only way to cure it is with fluids and rest.
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