RadioMD: Healthy Children
RadioMD: Healthy Children

Norovirus: The Stomach Bug

March 7, 201714 min
How should you deal with norovirus and prevent the rest of your family from getting it?Norovirus is a contagious virus that creates gastroenteritis. It causes fever, abdominal cramping, diarrhea and vomiting. Most folks refer to it as the stomach flu.How can you prevent it from spreading?Wait at least 24 hours after symptoms subside before sending your child back to school. Be sure to let the school know if your child has norovirus so they can wipe down surfaces, as it can survive on surfaces at room temperature for several days. Norovirus lasts 24 to 72 hours, but symptoms may not appear right away. Caring for Those Affected with Norovirus Keep a box of gloves on hand. You’ll be doing lots of scrubbing. Most parents are not prepared for norovirus. Give yourself some distance if you’re present while your child is vomiting. You don’t want to inhale particles and catch the virus. Clean up after your child post-vomiting and/or diarrhea. Clean up your child. Be sure to wash your hands with hot water and soap. Norovirus isn’t killed by antibacterial hand gel. Be sure you clean up with bleach. Put everything in the dishwasher instead of washing by hand. Wash the bedding and towels frequently to kill the virus. Do not share towels or bedding. Limit what you have to clean by quarantining your child. Recovery Treat headaches and body aches with Tylenol. Alert your pediatrician if your infant contracts norovirus. Hydrate. Set your child up with some water and a straw in front of the television. Avoid the sugar load of juices. Sunken eyes and baggy skin are signs of dehydration. Push on your child’s fingernail. If the color doesn’t return quickly, call your pediatrician. Call the doctor if your child hasn’t urinated all day. Stick with the BRAT diet when reintroducing solids: bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. The stomach will still be adjusting, so don’t force it. Listen as Dr. Corinn Cross joins Melanie Cole, MS, to share how to deal with norovirus.

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