Food poisoning, an infectious disease that occurs when natural toxins or toxic substances harmful to the human body are introduced into the body through ingestion of water or food, is known to occur frequently in the hot and humid summer, when food is easily deteriorated. However, norovirus is known to be more active than other viruses whose fertility decreases at low temperatures. It has the characteristic of surviving even at minus 20℃, so it is known that many symptoms of food poisoning due to norovirus infection occur in the cold winter.
Infection caused by norovirus is caused by ingestion of food or beverages infected with norovirus. Not only seafood such as oysters or clams, but also seafood such as fish are eaten without proper cooking, if you eat food that has come into contact with contaminated hands during group distribution, if you eat food that has come into contact with the hands of the cook, saliva or vomit It has been known to occur under a number of conditions, such as eating food with your hands or touching the diaper of an infant with diarrhea.
These noroviruses are highly contagious enough that even a small amount of the virus can easily cause infection. And it has the characteristic that it is most contagious when symptoms appear, and it is known that the contagiousness is maintained from 3 days to up to 2 weeks after recovery. Now, let’s learn more about the main symptoms and various information about prevention and management when infection by norovirus occurs.
Norovirus main symptoms
The main symptoms of norovirus infection include nausea and vomiting, muscle pain, headache, malaise, and high blood pressure. After infection, symptoms appear after an average incubation period of 12 to 48 hours, and symptoms can last 1 to 3 days. Vomiting is common in children, and diarrhea is common in adults. It is often accompanied by systemic symptoms such as headache, fever, chills, and muscle pain, and watery diarrhea may occur 4 to 8 times a day. And if symptoms get worse, severe abdominal pain or dehydration may appear.
Most noroviruses are known to recover naturally within a few days without treatment, and if severe dehydration or electrolyte imbalance occurs, treatment such as fluid therapy can be performed. And if the abdominal pain symptoms are severe, treatment with sedatives is sometimes performed. Since there is no vaccine to prevent infection of these noroviruses, and there is no antiviral agent, it is important to pay more attention to personal hygiene and sterilization and disinfection management of cooking utensils, etc. do.
Norovirus prevention and management
1. Wash your hands
It is known that the most effective way to prevent norovirus is to make a habit of washing your hands regularly. Thorough hand washing is very important because it is known that infection by norovirus is mainly carried out through the hands. When washing your hands, use soap to wash between your fingers and the back of your hands, and it is important to rinse thoroughly under running water for at least 20 seconds. It is also important to wash your hands thoroughly before eating, preparing food, after using the toilet, and after changing diapers.
2. Eat the food completely cooked.
Eating thoroughly cooked food is also an important management habit to prevent norovirus. Norovirus is known to be completely killed when heated for more than 1 minute at 85℃ or higher, so heating it sufficiently is the safest way to eat it. In particular, as the consumption of raw, raw seafood such as raw oysters, clams, and sashimi accounts for a large proportion of the occurrence of norovirus, it is necessary to be careful when eating these foods, and it is recommended to cook them thoroughly if possible. Also, it is recommended to boil water when drinking it, and especially when drinking groundwater, you must boil it before drinking.
3. Wash vegetables and fruits before eating.
When eating raw vegetables and fruits, washing them in clean water is also an important prevention of norovirus. It is said that it is a good way to eat fresh ones after choosing them and rinsing them thoroughly under running water.
Also, keeping the cooking space clean is an important management rule for prevention. Cooking utensils such as cutting boards and knives and tableware are recommended to be washed and then sterilized with boiling water or chlorine after use. Also, it is recommended to use separate cutting boards for handling fish and meat. In addition, since norovirus is highly contagious, it is important to thoroughly clean and sterilize the surfaces of bathroom doorknobs and items after using the toilet by a patient infected with norovirus in the house. In addition, after an outbreak of a disease, virus-infected clothes and bedding should be sterilized and washed immediately, and the patient’s vomit and food contaminated by the patient should be disposed of.