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Can You Get Norovirus in the Summer? Managing a Holiday Stomach Bug

Can You Get Norovirus in the Summer? Managing a Holiday Stomach Bug

The dreaded summer tummy bug…

As the summer season approaches and summer vacation plans begin, there is one thing to remember to ensure that your trip is not spoiled by a nasty stomach bug known as Norovirus. You might be wondering, can you get Norovirus in the summer? Most people associate Norovirus with a frequent stomach and intestinal disease on cruise ships. However, Norovirus can be contracted from anywhere. Nevertheless, there are a few simple and effective precautions you may take to reduce your risk of getting sick.

What is Norovirus?

To answer the question of “Can you get Norovirus in the summer?” we must first know what Norovirus is.

Norovirus is one of the most prevalent stomach illnesses in the UK, and some of its primary symptoms are diarrhoea and vomiting. Another name for the Norovirus is the ‘winter vomiting bug‘ because it’s more common in the winter, but you can be affected by it at any time throughout the year.

If the virus has spread in a confined space like a hotel, cruise ship, or a theme park, it may quickly grow and infect everyone in that area. Norovirus is a very unpleasant virus that generally goes away in a few days. It can be treated at home and rarely requires hospitalisation in severe cases. [1]

Why you can get Norovirus in the summer?

It is possible to contract Norovirus in the summer when people begin to go on vacations and visit the beach as the temperature starts increasing.

In July 2014, a Norovirus outbreak related to a lake in Portland, Oregon, affected 70 individuals. Individuals who swam in the lake were 2.3 times more likely to experience vomiting and diarrhoea compared to those who visited the park but did not go in the water. More than half of those who were ill were children aged 4 to 10.

Experts suspect the outbreak started when a Norovirus-infected swimmer vomited or had diarrhoea in the pool, and other swimmers consumed the contaminated water. Park officials restricted the lake to swimmers for the time being to protect other individuals from becoming ill. [2]

Thus, one may catch Norovirus if they come in close contact with someone with it, or they consume food handled or prepared by someone with the virus or if they touch surfaces and objects contaminated with Norovirus and then touch their mouth. 

Symptoms of Norovirus

Planning on going on holiday? Wondering can you get Norovirus in the summer? Here are some of the common symptoms of Norovirus:

  1. Diarrhoea
  2. Nausea
  3. Vomiting

Some individuals may also develop:

  1. Pain in legs and arms
  2. Headache
  3. High Temperature

You may start developing symptoms one to two days after coming in contact with the virus and persist for two or three days. [1]

Ill man under blanket checking temperature. [Can You Get Norovirus in the summer]

Home remedies to treat symptoms of Norovirus

Here are a few home remedies that can assist in alleviating your symptoms until the bug has been cleansed out of your system:

  1. Drink a lot of water. To replenish fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhoea, you’ll need to drink more water. You may also wish to rehydrate with special drinks available from your pharmacist
  2. Simple foods such as spaghetti, rice, soup, and bread should be consumed.
  3. For fevers, aches, and pains, use paracetamol.
  4. Make sure you get enough sleep.

Because children and babies are more likely to get dehydrated, speak with your pharmacist for tips and medications to make sure your children are on the right path to recovery. [3]

What to do if you’re infected with Norovirus

If you have sudden diarrhoea or vomiting, the best thing to do is rest and stay at home until you feel better. Because there is no cure for Norovirus, you must let it take its course. As previously stated, you should drink more than usual to replace the fluids lost due to vomiting and diarrhoea – adults can also try fruit juice and soup in addition to water.

Children should not consume fizzy drinks or fruit juice because this can aggravate their diarrhoea. Breast milk or other milk feeds should be continued as usual for infants.

Although we don’t have a specific treatment, we recommend staying home if you’re sick; however, you can have your other medications such as Paracetamol for pain relief and antihistamines for summer allergies delivered to your home via e-Surgery. However, note that before starting a new medicine, patients should always consult their doctor to ensure there are no drug interactions. (1)

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How to prevent Norovirus from spreading

If you are thinking about going on holiday and are wondering, Can you get Norovirus in the summer? Here are a few tips on preventing the spread of Norovirus.

  • Cooking and assisting in preparing meals for others should be avoided until 48 hours after Norovirus symptoms have subsided, as the virus can be spread through contaminated food handled by infected people.
  • Any contaminated clothing or bedding should be washed well and handled with disposable gloves.
  • Hands should be washed with soap and warm water on a regular basis. Norovirus is not killed by alcohol hand gels.
  • Bleach and water solution should be used to disinfect infected spaces and objects.

If you have Norovirus symptoms, you should stay at home. Avoid visiting sick or elderly relatives, and wait 48 hours before returning to work or sending your children to school. [4]

Sources

  1. Norovirus | NHS inform
  2. Study Highlights Risk of Norovirus from Swimming | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC
  3. Norovirus? Treat it at home – The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust | dgft.nhs.uk
  4. Norovirus outbreaks increasing in England | GOV.UK

Further Reading

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    at e-Surgery, we take the utmost care in providing accurate and well-sourced blog content on a variety of healthcare topics. Our blog content is never intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your GP or healthcare professional if you have any personal healthcare questions.