Norovirus – Belarus

As of April 6, 2021 29 people have been hospitalized, and the patients are diagnosed with norovirus in Beshenkovichi, Vitebsk region of Belarus. According to authority children are most affected and there were 21 children for every 5 adults.

Norovirus is a very contagious virus and anyone can get infected after having direct contact with an infected person or consuming contaminated food or water. Local authorities believe that since no viruses were found in the water supply network, and cases of infection continue, then spread of infection possibly by contact-household and airborne droplets.

At the peak of the disease and within two days after, an infected person can infect others. In this case, the recovered person can also be contagious even for several weeks.

Local authority and doctors advise residents of Beshenkovichi to observe the same protection measures as against coronavirus: wear protective masks, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, and wipe the surfaces with disinfectants as often as possible.

Photo: Norovirus particles electron micrograph.

Norovirus, sometimes referred to as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common cause of gastroenteritis.

Infection is characterized by non-bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Fever or headaches may also occur. Symptoms usually develop 12 to 48 hours after being exposed, and recovery typically occurs within 1 to 3 days.

This may be through contaminated food or water or person-to-person contact. Risk factors include unsanitary food preparation and sharing close quarters.

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