Norovirus Surges in the US: Rapidly Spreading and Contagious Threat Causing Concern Among Health Experts

Visual Representation for norovirus infection
Visual Representation for norovirus infection

United States: Norovirus has emerged as a major health concern among health experts in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have mentioned that the virus is responsible for causing foodborne illness, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.

The virus is well-known for transmitting rapidly and quickly, due to which it can spread easily between an infected person and a healthy person. Due to the above-mentioned reasons, the disease has become a common infectious disease.

The concerns associated with the disease are high because it can also imitate the symptoms and signs shown by flu, according to the Medical Director of Infectious Disease for WellSpan Chambersburg – Dr. Raghav Tirupathi.

While addressing the disease, Tirupathi was quoted saying, “It’s a viral GI infection that affects the gut, the stomach, and the intestines, so it’s a very contagious virus,” as per the reports by fox63.com.

What is the common mode of transmission for norovirus?

The virus can be transferred from an infected person to another person through direct contact. In addition to this, it can also be contracted by a person through surfaces.

The virus poses threat to the people who are immunocompromised, younger population and elderly population having weakened and underdeveloped immune systems.

Dr Tirupathi, while addressing the concern, mentioned, “They should seek medical attention in an urgent care, or an emergency room type of setting where they could be fluid replated with IV hydration, not just oral hydration.”

Upsurge in norovirus cases!

While addressing the increased cases of norovirus, Dr Tirupathi stated that the number of patients – who have complained about any of the symptoms linked to norovirus, have been increased in the United States.

Visual Representation for norovirus infection

“The numbers have gone up in general more than the previous years,” he was quoted saying.

A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection of 16.2 percent was reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in late February 2024. Accordingly, the detection was majorly found in the northeast region of the US. He further underlined that prior to this, the highest PCR detection was reported in early March, i.e., 16.1 percent.

He further addressed that the sudden surge in the cases of norovirus might be due to lack of prevention offered by vaccine. Prior to this, cases witnessed upsurge between November and April, 2023.

“Previously, COVID was the big elephant in the room, and now other viral infections have come back to establish their rightful place,” Tirupathi said, according to fox63.com.

Which is the best possible way to avoid infection?

Tirupathi emphasized that the best way to offer protection against norovirus is by following precautionary measures, including regular hand wash. “Hand washing, hand washing, hand washing, I cannot stress that more,” he said.

Visual Representation

Further, he asked the people showcasing the symptoms linked to the disease to stay home for the longest possible time. According to him, this can help in resisting the spread of the infection.

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