Researchers have discovered why some stomach bugs hit us so hard — and spread so fast...
The research began in 2015, when the researchers were studying polioviruses for a different project. It was led by Dr. Nihal Altan-Bonnet, who focuses on host-pathogen connections at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The researchers were looking, in particular, at vesicles — groups of viruses that clump together under protective membranes — compared with free-ranging viruses. Was there any difference, they wondered, in how the clustered and stand-alone viruses attacked our bodies?
Norovirus outbreaks are common in places where people are close together and touch the same surfaces — like day care centers and cruise ships, said Dr. Camille Sabella, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s. But anyone anywhere can contract the virus. Here’s what to know about symptoms, treatment and prevention.
You’ve probably heard the term “stomach flu” many times, especially during the winter months. Maybe you’ve even used it yourself to describe the misery of diarrhea and vomiting that many suffer from every year. But did you know that there really is no such thing as the “stomach flu?”
The worst symptoms tend to be in the first 12 hours and usually include rapid vomiting and/or diarrhea back-to-back.
Stomach viruses can include just diarrhea, just vomiting, and if you’re really lucky both at the same time. Abdominal pain and nausea are also likely present.
Some of the common viruses that cause gastroenteritis include:
Rotavirus. This virus most commonly infects infants age 3 to 15 months. The illness lasts for 3 to 7 days and is most common in fall and winter.
Norovirus. This is the most common cause of adult infections and the virus that’s usually responsible for outbreaks on cruise ships. Symptoms last from 1 to 3 days and can occur any time of the year.
Adenovirus. This virus occurs year-round and affects children under age 2. Symptoms last from 5 to 12 days.
The main symptoms of viral gastroenteritis are watery diarrhea and vomiting. The affected person may also have headache, fever, and abdominal cramps (“stomach ache”). In general, the symptoms begin 1 to 2 days following infection with a virus that causes gastroenteritis and may last for 1 to 10 days, depending on which virus causes the illness.
A new structural analysis of four norovirus strains reveals that the virus’s shell varies in size and molecular arrangement – a surprise finding that could help scientists developing vaccines.
The most common cause of gastroenteritis is one of several viruses. These germs spread from person to person, sometimes through objects such as telephones, door handles and anything else that multiple hands may touch. “One particular virus that we hear about in the news is Norovirus. Norovirus is often responsible for outbreaks in school classrooms or workplaces since it is very contagious and can be especially severe with symptoms lasting for three days or more,” says Dr. Madueke.
Stomach viruses typically last a few days but can sometimes last a week or more. In some cases, they may cause longer lasting effects on a person’s health.
Because people can continue to be contagious for a while, do everyone a favor, and stay home for a few days (and keep the kids home from school). Remember, try not to prepare food for at least two days after symptoms go away. And keep washing those hands.
Cases of this dreaded digestive illness spike in the winter. Here’s how you can fight back.
Researchers have discovered why some stomach bugs hit us so hard — and spread so fast. New research published Wednesday in Cell Host & Microbe found that stomach infections, like norovirus and rotavirus, are more contagious and more potent when the virus particles cluster together.
These findings may help treat — and even prevent — these viruses more effectively.