Norovirusis an RNA virus belonging to the Caliciviridaefamily (Goyal & Cannon, 2016). It is a pathogen that affects thehuman enteric system causing significant morbidity across bothcommunity and healthcare settings. Factors such as protracted viralshedding and the ability to survive in different conditionscontribute to the transmissibility of this virus (Goyal & Cannon,2016). A small inoculum of less than 100 viral particles can giverise to an infection.
Thehuman norovirus was previously referred to as the Norwalk virus. Itsfirst identification was in the stool specimens gathered during anoutbreak of gastroenteritis in the city of Norwalk (Goyal &Cannon, 2016). This pathogen was among the first viral agents shownto cause infection of the gastrointestinal system. It was firstdescribed in the year 1929 as a winter vomiting illness sinceseasonal proclivity and the recurrent prevalence of patients withvomiting as the main symptom (Goyal & Cannon, 2016). The viruswas first identified in 1968 after an outbreak that affected up to50% of the students in an elementary education institution in Norwalk(Goyal & Cannon, 2016). The main symptoms were low-grade fever,vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea (Goyal & Cannon, 2016). Among theprimary cases, 98% had nausea while 92% vomited. 52% of the affectedpatients complained of lethargy while 34% had a low-grade fever, and38% presented with diarrhea (Goyal & Cannon, 2016).
Thecauses of the infection include the consumption of contaminatedwater, food, and close contact with infected persons (Goyal &Cannon, 2016). Diagnosis can be made based on the presentingsymptoms, and the pathogen can be identified through stool sampletests. Treatment for the infection is non-specific, and recovery ofthe infected persons depends on their immune system (Goyal &Cannon, 2016). The disease resolves within 96 hours. Due to nausea,vomiting, and diarrhea, dehydration may set in hence the need tointravenous fluids. Patients may receive analgesics to manage feverand muscle pains (Goyal & Cannon, 2016).
Noroviruscauses gastroenteritis, and its transmission occurs through theintake of contaminated food and water. The main symptoms includevomiting and diarrhea, but the disease resolves within 96 hours afterthe onset of the symptoms. Fluid therapy can be considered in casesof severe dehydration.
Goyal,S. M., & Cannon, J. L. (2016). Virusesin foods.Switzerland: Springer.