Symptoms, transmission…: what we know about norovirus, this new disease that worries us

In recent weeks, the UK has seen an increase in norovirus cases.

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LUnfortunately, Covid will not make us forget the other epidemics. Our Paris-Normandy colleagues report that the UK has been facing a wave of norovirus (NoV) commonly known as the ‘vomit virus’ for several weeks. It causes a very strong acute gastroenteritis and can be especially dangerous for weak people. Problem: It spreads at full speed in kindergartens, schools and institutions that take in dependent people.

Who are those affected?

If the epidemic does not seem to flare up in France – for now – the health authorities will check the situation on the other side of the English Channel. According to Lesly Larkin of the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA): “Norovirus, commonly known as the emetic virus, was at lower than normal levels this season, but as people started to mix more the number of epidemics started to increase” .

What are the symptoms ?

The symptoms can be multiple: sudden onset of nausea, vomiting in jets, diarrhea, high temperature, abdominal pain, dehydration with weight loss… For its part, the National Agency for Food Safety, Environment, Labor (Anses) specifies these symptoms are very revealing and must be serious taken, particularly in those most at risk (children, the elderly, the chronically ill or those with compromised immune systems).

The incubation period of the virus is 10 to 50 hours and can affect all sections of the population.

How is it transmitted?

Like gastroenteritis, the highly contagious virus is “transmitted unnoticed from person to person or indirectly through ingestion of contaminated food or water or through contact with a contaminated environment,” explains ANSES. These dietary transmissions can then be amplified by human-to-human transmission.”

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