Hi, I'm Dr. Ricky, and welcome to Body Talk. Today, we're gonna be talking about Norovirus. This is a really common problem this time of year, so I'm gonna be answering some of the questions that you've been asking online.
嗨，我是 Ricky 醫生，歡迎來到《身體大小事》。今天，我們要討論諾羅病毒。這是一年中這個時節非常常見的問題，所以我要來回答一些你們在網路上發問的問題。
What is Norovirus?
As the name suggests, it's a virus, often called the winter vomiting bug, comes out at the winter time. It's really contagious, so coughs, colds, sneezes, you can spread it really easy from person to person. It causes vomiting, can cause diarrhea, can make you quite dehydrated, and the symptoms last a couple of days. It's really important to make sure that even after your symptoms have subsided, you still maybe hang back for a day or two—otherwise you still might spread it onto other people.
What are the symptoms of Norovirus?
It causes vomiting and diarrhea, and if you're losing lots of fluid in your vomit and diarrhea, you're at real risk of getting dehydrated. So how do you know that you're getting dehydrated? Well, sometimes people notice that their mouth gets dry. You might notice that your heart starts beating fast. And actually, the amount of urine you pass goes down, because your body is trying to keep as much water in as possible. So if you're only passing urine, say, once or twice a day, probably isn't enough, you may be getting dehydrated. If you are getting dehydrated, it's important to drink plenty of fluid. And we always say not just water, maybe drink something with some salt in it, like, juices, too. But it's a general viral illness you might get, a bit of a snotty nose, a bit of a cough—just the general kind of body ache. So it's not just the vomiting and diarrhea, it can have some other symptoms, too.
Why does Norovirus often cause outbreaks?
For the main reason, it's because it's so contagious; it's really easy to spread from one person to another. It generally comes about in the winter time, and the reason why we don't develop an immunity against it is the virus is constantly changing. So, you might get it this year, build up some immunity, but the Norovirus that comes around next year is a little bit different, so you need a different type of immunity. But unfortunately, you get the virus again.
Another reason why Norovirus causes outbreaks is the actual virus itself can live outside of the body for a long period of time. Normal viruses only last, you know, a matter of hours outside of the body, but Norovirus can hang around for a few days. And so if it's hanging around, it's easy for you to pick up, and easy to spread.
How is Norovirus spread?
It's a really infectious virus. It's spread through just touching people who have been infected with the virus, so, just something as simple as handshaking or maybe sharing the same door handle. It's really important to maintain good hand hygiene when you've got Norovirus to try and minimize the spread of it going to someone else.
Who is most at risk?
There aren't any specific groups that are more likely to get Norovirus. If you're exposed to it, you might get it. However, certain groups of people are more at risk in terms of how the Norovirus might affect them, in terms of its severities. If you're very young, you're very old, or if your immune system isn't working so well, if you do get Norovirus, it can hit you pretty hard.
How do you treat Norovirus?
The best advice to someone who's got Norovirus is to let infection just run its course. You just need to support your body through the time that you're unwell with paracetamol and plenty of fluid. If you've got a child who's got Norovirus, it's really important just to maintain a normal diet.
How to minimize the spread of Norovirus?
The key is handwashing and hygiene. It's easily spread from person to person, so you need to be careful with your sharing towels with people. After you've gone to the toilet, you need to make sure you've washed your hands properly with an antibacterial soap. And actually, if you've had Norovirus, it's really important to kind of isolate yourself slightly. You know, if you've had these symptoms, maybe keep yourself isolated for a couple of days so that you don't pass it on to someone else. Other things you can do to stop the spread of Norovirus would be to wash your bedding after you've had it on a really hot wash, and also, maybe not prepare food, especially, for other people.
Can you get it more than once?
Norovirus is the kind of bug that changes on a yearly basis, so the bug that comes out next year will be a bit different to the one that comes out this year. That means if you pick up in any one year, you're unlikely to get it again in that year because your body would have immunity, but the following year, because the bug's changed a little bit, you may well pick up again. Even though you might feel terrible when you've got Norovirus with all that vomiting and diarrhea, when the symptoms settle and things get back to normal, there shouldn't be any long-term effects at all.
So I hope you found this information useful of Norovirus. If you need any more information, check out the description box below, and don't forget to subscribe to Body Talk. Bye.
- 「增長、加強」- Build Up
So, you might get it this year, build up some immunity...
- 「差不多、大約」- A Matter Of
Normal viruses only last, you know, a matter of hours outside of the body, but Norovirus can hang around for a few days.
- 「順其自然」- Run Its Course
The best advice to someone who's got Norovirus is to let infection just run its course.