Have you been taking frequent trips to the bathroom? If it’s because you’re feeling unwell, it may point to something more than just an upset stomach. While COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted across the country, another virus is causing an increasing number of hospitalizations.
Going through sudden stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting is no pleasant experience. However, most of us experience symptoms like these at some point. The stomach flu, or stomach bug as we often refer to it, is actually called norovirus, and it’s a common occurrence in the U.S. every year. Nevertheless, it’s not to be brushed aside. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus is responsible for 109,000 hospitalizations and as many as 900 deaths yearly. This virus causes inflammation in the stomach and intestines, and the symptoms mentioned above occur 12-48 hours after exposure.
What should you do if you believe to have been infected with norovirus? You can give your doctor a call to ask for their advice. Unfortunately, no medicine targets this illness specifically. However, the condition typically resolves itself within a few days – all you need to do is stay home to prevent spreading the virus and ensure you stay amply hydrated.
If the symptoms persist or you notice blood in your excrement, you’re advised to seek medical attention. You might also need special treatment if you begin showing signs of dehydration, like weakness and fatigue, dizziness, and lack of urine. Dehydration can be especially dangerous for children under 5 and seniors, so proper medical care is paramount.
Norovirus can spread extremely easily, which is why there are about 2,500 outbreaks in the U.S. each year. If you experience symptoms of this virus, limit contact with others to prevent spreading it.