The rapid spread of Norovirus in the US: Symptoms, transmission, and regions of highest concern

According to recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been an increase in cases of norovirus in the U.S. Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes gastrointestinal symptoms.

CNN reported that the CDC data revealed a significant increase in the percentage of positive tests for norovirus in the week ending February 17. The positivity rate rose from 11.5% the previous week to over 12%. The Northeast region has been particularly affected, with more than 13% of tests returning positive results. This high positivity rate has been observed since late January.

According to the CDC, the majority of norovirus outbreaks in the United States occur between November and April. These outbreaks typically occur when infected individuals come into direct contact with others, such as through caregiving or sharing food and utensils. Additionally, the virus can spread through consuming contaminated food or drinks, as well as touching surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus.

Norovirus is responsible for causing inflammation in the stomach or intestines. The typical signs of norovirus infection include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain, which generally manifest within 12 to 48 hours after exposure. In addition, patients may also experience fever, headaches, and body aches.

Most individuals typically recover from norovirus within three days, although they can still transmit the virus for a few days afterward. Dehydration poses a significant risk, particularly for children, older adults, and individuals with underlying health conditions.

According to the CDC, dehydrated children may display signs such as crying with few or no tears and being unusually sleepy or fussy. Additional symptoms of dehydration include a decrease in urination, a dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when standing up.

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When it comes to treating norovirus, there isn’t a specific medication available. According to the CDC, the best approach is to ensure that individuals affected by norovirus stay hydrated by consuming ample liquids. This helps replenish the fluids lost due to symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

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