Health23 Jan 2010 02:01 pm
Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause the stomach flu or gastroenteritis in humans. Several other names have been used to describe noroviruses, namely, Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs), caliciviruses and small round structured viruses. Like all viral infections, noroviruses are not affected by treatment with antibiotics and unlike bacteria, they cannot grow outside of a person’s body.
The symptoms of illness caused by nonoviruses include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping. The illness often strikes with little warning, but luckily symptoms usually last for only 24 to 48 hours. People can become sick with a norovirus in many ways, including:
Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus;
Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus, and then placing their hand in their mouth; and
Having direct contact with another person who is infected and showing symptoms (for example, when caring for someone with illness, or sharing foods or eating utensils with someone who is ill).
Only last week, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel in North Carolina has left many of its patrons feeling sick to their stomachs after an outbreak of the highly contagious norovirus. The number of infected people from the casino has risen to 246, and some of the victims had to be rushed to the hospital. In the meantime, the casino has remained open to business but the casino’s buffet was closed for awhile, infected staff were told to stay home and cleaning crews have been wiping down slot games, handrails, restaurants and door knobs with bleach and water.
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