Way OT - Norovirus

Submitted by Njia on March 17th, 2010 at 2:30 PM

It seems I have contracted norovirus. Also known as "stomach flu". Always a lot of fun to feel like a bus hit you, and watch your stomach step outside to survey the damage. The nausea is easily the worst part.

A few days ago, the MGoFeelingCraptastic board topic was hangover cures. In a similar vein, anyone know how long this is going to hang on, and what I can do to minimize the symptoms?

Many thanks. And, yes, I did look up the usual entries on WebMD, and - as usual - it was mostly useless.


The Original Seth

March 17th, 2010 at 2:34 PM ^

There's some good news: you're going to lose between 6 and 10 pounds.

I got the stomach flu in 2004 or thereabouts, and I had to pull the couch into the hallway, along with the TV, so I could make it to the bathroom in 15 seconds or under.

I drank water and broth for days on end, and watched almost the entire run of Seinfeld in syndication. There is nothing you can do except hydrate and hope.

Chi Go Blue

March 17th, 2010 at 2:39 PM ^

It usually lasts 3-4 days, definitely shouldn't be more than a week. Anything you can keep down in terms of fluids is better, but it's hard with the nausea/vomiting. Dehydration will only make you feel worse, so do you best on hydration. Since it's a virus, any type of antibiotic won't work at all...so you're SOL that route.

I don't know if this will make you feel better or not, but norovirus is one of the shorter duration viral causes of gastroenteritis...some last up to 2 weeks.

Blue in Saint Lou

March 17th, 2010 at 2:46 PM ^

It is extremely contagious. So if you live with others make sure you are all doing lots of hand washing. Avoid dehydration with gotorade or something similar. If you are still going frequently after 72 hrs, or you start getting really dehydrated (dry mouth and eyes, splitting headache) go to the hospital.


March 17th, 2010 at 2:52 PM ^

You'll know if vomiting will be part of it in the first 12 hrs or so. Hopefully not, but if so, nothing OTC will stop it, all anti-vomiting drugs are RX. Also, NO food/water/drugs/anything until the vomiting's stopped for 2-3 hours. It'll only trigger more.

Post (or no) vomit, start with SMALL amounts of clear fluids (water/Gatorade), then go bland on food (BRAT diet) via many small snacks (no big meals) throughout the day. Last things to add back in - DAIRY, ACIDS (citrus,tomato).

As for diarrhea, let it run (pun - see what I did there) it's course for 12 hrs or so. If you hit Immodium too soon, you'll end up feeling awful (cramping, bloating, nausea) longer - your body's TRYING to rid you of the virus somehow.

Tylenol for aches (less upsetting to stomach than ibuprofen); Immodium for diarrhea; if you've got a Canadian friend ask if they've got any Gravol? (anti-nausea med that's OTC up there, not available here); may want to start a pro-biotic (Culterelle, Align etc) once worst is over to get your system back to normal quicker.


March 17th, 2010 at 3:18 PM ^

I came down with it and quarantined to my room for 24 hours. THAT was pretty annoying crap; chills/fever, GI upset, malaise. The doc on board gave me Gatorade and Lomotil, for the loss of electrolytes and diarrhea respectfully. I wasn't feeling 80% until the cruise was almost over; I ended up losing weight over the stretch of the cruise. The cruise before us had 20% of the folks on board come down with it, while ours had 10%. We read recently the cruise that took off after ours was 20% infected after a couple days and came back to port 4 days early. It is supposed to be the second most common illness behind the 'common cold'.


March 17th, 2010 at 3:22 PM ^

My dad and I both got norovirus while we were in Aruba a few years back - it was so bad that we still refer to it as the Aruba Death Bug. My wife still makes fun of me because I was laying down on the bathroom floor of our hotel and asked her to bring me a pillow in there because it was just easier.

There is absolutely nothing that you can do other than lie there waiting for it to be over (sort of like the 2008 football season). Just try to take VERY SMALL AMOUNTS of Gatorade so that you don't end up in the hospital for dehydration.


March 17th, 2010 at 5:50 PM ^

My whole family and most of the Resort got the Virus...We went to the Dominican Republic. For us it lasted the whole week we got there and a week we got back. Its horrible. Shitting water and feeling like crap is not good.


March 17th, 2010 at 9:12 PM ^

Finally! Something I can post intelligently about.

Noroviruses are the new trendy term for Norwalk-type viruses, the leading cause of viral gastroenteritis or "stomach flu", and first detected from an outbreak in the early 1970s in Norwalk, Ohio. It's the cause of outbreaks in military camps, schools, cruise ships, etc. Tough to diagnosis outside of research labs, so usually we just say "viral gastroenteritis" and give the following speech;

In short: fecal-oral transmission from something you ate in the past 1-2 days, viral shedding from stools/vomitus lasts about 2 days, immunity might last maybe 2-3 yrs, you'll get better in 3 days no matter what you do, but go a ER if you feel lightheaded or your heart is racing as that's a sign you're dehydrated and you would benefit from IV fluid. If you're not better in 3 days, or if there's blood in your stools, you've probably got something else (bacterial).

I'm an Infectious Disease doctor. Who still doesn't understand what a 4-3 under is. Hope you feel better.


March 17th, 2010 at 9:13 PM ^

Even the guys who made me laugh. I needed that.

Cruises are definitely off my list of "1000 Things To Do Before You Die."

I've noticed three stages of this disease's progression:

1. You think you're going to die.
2. You're convinced you're going to die.
3. You're afraid you WON'T die.

And, I retract my previous statement about the nausea being the worst part. Actually, the worst part is suffering this on St. Patrick's Day, and I didn't even get to enjoy the beer.


March 17th, 2010 at 9:28 PM ^

My recommendations:

1) As much as it sucks, don't eat anything for 24-48 hours.
2) Occasionally as you do get hungry, get some of those plain mini-bagels, chow down on one of those.
3) Purchase MANY 32 oz bottles of gatorade/powerade.
4) Put a TV in your bathroom, because you'll be shitting watter for a day or two.
5) When you think the worst is over, wait another 24 hours before you eat "normal" food again. Just up the intake of bread products until then.

Good luck to you sir, it's not a fun thing to go through.