Duration of norovirus disease

How long does the entire norovirus disease last?

The entire duration of the norovirus disease - from being infected with the norovirus to being completely sterile - is very variable under certain circumstances.
In the case of a very short course of the disease, the contagion can end after just 3 days. However, the disease can last for 6 days or more.

Find out more about the topic here: Norovirus - How Dangerous Is It?

How long is there a risk of infection?

There is a particularly high risk of infection in the phase associated with diarrhea and vomiting. However, the contagion may persist even after the symptoms have subsided.

In general, people in the food sector should stay home for at least 2 days after diarrhea and vomiting have stopped. Even children who are under 6 years of age are not allowed to enter any community facility for up to 2 days after the symptoms have ended, in order to prevent any germs still present from being spread through carelessness.

It is important to emphasize that the viruses may also be present in the stool for longer. Proper hand hygiene is all the more important for a long time after a norovirus infection. This involves washing thoroughly with soap for at least 30 seconds Or, even better, hand disinfection with an antiviral disinfectant after every use of the toilet.

Are you interested in this topic? Read more about this at: How long is norovirus infection contagious?

How long does the vomiting last?

The vomiting, which usually occurs in a surge, can, in the best case, go back after 12 hours.
However, if the course is more severe, vomiting can last 48 hours. Vomiting is considered by many to be the most uncomfortable thing about norovirus disease. Antiemetic drugs, i.e. agents that prevent nausea and vomiting, can provide relief from persistent vomiting. With these agents, the instructions for use must be carefully observed, as overdosing must be prevented. However, it is also possible that a norovirus infection proceeds completely without vomiting.

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How long does the fall last?

The mostly watery diarrhea that occurs with a norovirus infection can be over after 12 hours or last up to 48 hours. However, under certain circumstances the diarrhea can last longer.
Unlike vomiting, diarrhea caused by noroviruses should not be combated with means that restrict the mobility of the bowel (e.g. Loperamide®). It is important to pass the stool that contains the pathogen. A restricted intestinal passage is therefore a hindrance to recovery. It is more important to drink a lot and, in the case of particularly severe diarrhea, to absorb electrolytes through drinking solutions or, in extreme cases, even to replace them intravenously.

Our next article could also be of interest to you: How is noroviruses transmitted?

Duration of headache and body aches

Headache and body aches are the main symptoms of vomiting and / or diarrhea.
They usually subside with these symptoms, but can also be present in the phase after the severe symptoms have subsided.

Duration of muscle and joint pain

In this sense, muscle and joint pain are the more precise names for body aches. In the case of norovirus infection, muscle pain is more likely to be described than joint pain.

More on this subject: Pain in the limbs

Length of sick leave

A certificate of incapacity for work should be issued at least for the severe phase of the illness with vomiting and diarrhea, since the sick person is highly contagious and not productive during this time.
However, if there is a risk of infecting other people at work even after the symptoms have subsided, as in the food processing industry, the sick leave must be issued at least 2 days after the symptoms have ended.

Also read our topic: How is norovirus infection treated?

Duration of the incubation period

The incubation time - this is the time from the pathogen ingestion into the body until the first symptoms appear - is between 6 hours and 2 days for a norovirus infection.
After the incubation period, the disease begins very suddenly and acutely, usually with gushing vomiting and watery diarrhea.

Duration until the test is positive

As soon as the symptoms appear, i.e. diarrhea and vomiting, the virus can be detected in the stool. There are several methods of detection.
However, it is not advisable to examine the stool for norovirus components if only individual people become ill. The test is a financial burden on the health system and is not absolutely necessary for the treatment of the disease. In most cases, treatment is based on the symptoms. However, if it is important to analyze a larger outbreak more closely and to clarify the origin of the virus, a test may be necessary.

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