What Is Norwalk Virus?

Norwalk virus, more commonly known as the winter vomiting bug, is a virus that’s the most common cause of gastroenteritis. It is responsible for approximately 200,000 deaths every year.

History of Norwalk Virus

In 1968, they originally named the Norwalk Virus as the “Norwalk agent” after an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis occurred among children in Norwalk, Ohio, in the United States.

Later on in 1972, electron microscopy on stored human stool samples identified a virus, which was named the “Norwalk virus”. Since then, several outbreaks with similar symptoms have occurred.

A few years later, cloning and sequencing of the Norwalk virus genome showed that it has a genomic organization consistent with viruses belonging to the family Caliciviridae.

In 2002, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) changed the name to “Norovirus”.

Symptoms of Diseases Caused By Norwalk Virus

An infection caused by the Norwalk virus is characterized by nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes, loss of taste.

Typically, people develop symptoms of gastroenteritis, including weakness, muscle aches, headaches, and low-grade fevers, in 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to the Norwalk virus.

The good news is that the disease is self-limiting in most cases, meaning severe illness is rare. So although having the Norwalk virus is unpleasant, it is not usually dangerous, and most people fully recover within two to three days.

All that being said, the Norwalk virus can establish a long-term infection in immunocompromised individuals. Such infections can lead to norovirus‐associated enteropathy, intestinal villous atrophy, and malabsorption — all of which can be fatal.

So if you have even the tiniest notion that you may be suffering from gastroenteritis, visit your local doctor right away.

How You Can Treat Norwalk virus

Unfortunately, there is no specific medicine to treat the Norwalk virus because we cannot treat the infection it causes with antibiotics, as it is a virus.

Currently, there are several treatments, all of which aim to avoid complications by measures like the management of dehydration caused by fluid loss in vomiting and diarrhea, and to mitigate symptoms using antiemetics or antidiarrheals.

However, none of those treatments are ideal. So unless you’re already suffering from a disease caused by the Norwalk virus, you shouldn’t be worrying about the treatment.

You should be worrying about how to prevent the disease.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So why not take safety precautions right now, so you won’t have to face the risk of catching a disease caused by the Norwalk virus?

If you’re now wondering what safety precautions we are talking about, disinfecting your home and workplace with a solution that can kill the Norwalk virus is all you need to do.

How Alliance Enviro-Tech Can Help

Alliance Enviro-Tech can disinfect both residential and commercial spaces thoroughly.

Our Path-Guard® System can kill the Norwalk virus in under 5 minutes, giving you peace of mind to know your property is safe for everyone living or working there.

For more information, contact us to find out how we can help keep your property safe and clean.