(Mirror Daily, United States) – The norovirus is lurking around, so beware that ‘the winter vomiting disease’ is spreading in California and has seen many more cases than last year. Officials from the California Department of Health have issued out a warning. The norovirus has caused a serious number of outbreaks.
Since October, officials confirmed that there have been 32 outbreaks of the norovirus in California. This is in comparison to just the 9 cases that were reported in 2014 around the same time. For some reason, the disease has been spreading around much more quickly. This has led them to caution the population to properly wash their hands to prevent infection.
The norovirus, otherwise called as the winter vomiting disease, is a highly contagious virus that causes gastroenteritis. It will cause inflammation of the stomach or intestines. Even though it’s associated to winter, it can present itself even in the summer, but the cold season seems to be its breeding ground and home. The disease will cause vomiting and diarrhea, and it’s especially dangerous for young children and the elderly.
According to the health officials, around 20 million people get infected each year in the U.S., and there have been between 570 and 800 fatalities due to the disease. Fortunately, these occur due to harsh complications.
The disease can spread through direct contact, or indirect after touching a surface with the virus and then putting your hand on your mouth. Otherwise, it can also spread through food or liquids that are infected and consuming them. That is why most of the outbreaks occur in restaurants, cafeterias, schools, nursing homes, or other crowded care centers or closed spaces.
Symptoms start occurring between 12 to 48 hours of coming in contact with the virus, and linger for even 2 weeks after recovery. It’s important for people to properly wash their hands, especially after using the bathroom or before preparing the food. This is a very important fact to remember ahead of Christmas dinner tonight.
According to Karen Smith, from the California Department of Health, the best way to assure that the virus will not be spreading is through proper washing of the hands. She recommends frequent washing with soap for at least 20 seconds under running water. It’s also important to note that hand sanitizers won’t have the desired effect.
So far, several outbreaks have been traced, though not all confirmed to have been caused by the nororvirus. This includes The Sky Room in Long Beach, Ventura Country Chipotle where it’s believed to have struck 60 people, a school cafeteria, and Chapman University, where it’s believed to have infected around 50 students. It won’t make for a jolly Christmas.
Image source: healthhype.com