In the last five weeks, 154 non-virus outbreaks have been recorded in the United Kingdom, which, compared to an average of 53 outbreaks reported in the same period in the last five years, has raised alarms among specialists.
The highest percentage of infections initially occurred in educational settings, particularly at the daycare level, with more incidents reported by the British health agency than expected in the current summer months. warm in the northern hemisphere.
Due to the increase in recorded cases, the English authorities raised the alert due to unusual cases of the so-called “winter vomiting virus.”
Public health experts in the United Kingdom have warned that there is an epidemic of norovirus three times higher in infected people than usual. Characterized by causing vomiting and diarrhea and being highly contagious, the highest number of cases is observed during the winter, although now in the summer, health authorities in Europe are concerned that the cases are getting bigger. Public Health England (PHE) reports that “routine surveillance. shows that the number of outbreaks caused by the vomiting virus has increased in recent weeks, particularly in early years education settings, and that cases have returned to pre-pandemic levels, with high levels of cases across all age groups and settings in England.
Infectious disease doctor María Cecilia Niccodemi (MN 105624) explained that “norovirus is a very small RNA type virus, which is usually transmitted from person to person or through contaminated water, surfaces, or food, and then put your hands in your mouth without washing. them before.” And a pointing out that “it is the main cause of gastroenteritis with diarrhea and vomiting in all age groups,” the staff specialist of the Doctor Stamboulian Medical Center and Sanatorio La Trinidad San Isidro emphasized that “this virus can be acquired many times in a lifetime because there are many types of norovirus and infection with one type does not protect against others.”
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define norovirus as a highly contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea and warns that anyone can become infected and sick with this condition by contracting it in the following ways: by direct contact with an infected person; by drinking contaminated food or water and/or touching contaminated surfaces and then putting your hands over your mouth without washing them.
Regarding how to prevent infection, Niccodemi advises “washing your hands with soap and water before eating or handling food, carefully washing fruits and vegetables, and cooking well meat and seafood.” Likewise, it recommends that infected people “avoid preparing food while they are sick and for up to two days after symptoms disappear to reduce the possibility of further spread.”
Professor Saheer Gharbia, deputy director of the National Infection Service at PHE, explained that “norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting virus, is at lower than normal levels during a pandemic with little opportunity to spread to people. people in the community, but as the restrictions eased, the increase in cases was seen in all age groups.”
“Symptoms include the sudden onset of nausea, projectile vomiting, and diarrhea, but can also include fever, abdominal pain, and pain in the extremities. Stay home if you have symptoms of norovirus, and do not return to work or send children to school or daycare for up to 48 hours after symptoms disappear.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, “diagnosis is usually based on symptoms, but norovirus can be identified from a stool sample.”
“There is no specific treatment for norovirus infection, and recovery generally depends on the health of the immune system,” said specialists from this health center based in Rochester, Minnesota. “In most people, the disease usually resolves within a few days.”
“This is what is called supportive treatment,” added Niccodemi, who summarized: “Rest, symptomatic treatment of vomiting and diarrhea, and prevention of dehydration.”
And after emphasizing that “it is important to replace the lost fluids,” Mayo Clinic experts emphasize that “oral rehydration solutions can be used, and if the patient cannot absorb fluids, to prevent dehydration, possibly the patient should receive intravenous fluids.”