The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) expects even before the next week expected flu epidemic with a norovirus epidemic, which induce vomiting and diarrhea. Especially at risk are young children and the elderly. That just hundreds of tourists and numerous crew members of the venerable luxury liner Queen Elizabeth II were haunted by a highly contagious vomiting diarrhea has contributed significantly to the profile of the Noroviruses. But not only that: Already at the beginning of December last year, the institute warned of an epidemic-like increase in the number of illnesses, as it had already existed in the winters of 2002/2003 and 2004/2005. Guilt was a new variant of the virus in the two years. In 2006, 19 people died as a result of an infection with noroviruses.

The symptoms

The symptoms come quickly and concentrated: severe vomiting, headache and diarrhea plague people. The heavy loss of fluid causes you to feel very flabby, the headache is accompanied by abdominal and limb pain. Since there is a risk of dehydration, one should always drink water or tea despite continuing vomiting, bouillon is also well suited.

In case of very heavy fluid loss you should also take electrolyte solutions (vital minerals), which you can get in the pharmacy. The symptoms usually resolve after 12 to 72 hours at the latest. People over 70, small children and patients weakened by other diseases are particularly at risk and should be cared for.

Very contagious and resistant

Not only cruise ships, especially community facilities such as kindergartens, schools and retirement homes are the ideal breeding ground for noroviruses. Because they can spread about the excretions many times. Incidentally, infection is also possible due to contaminated food. The visible under the electron microscope viruses with their interesting icosahedral, so twenty-sided symmetry, stick for days on doorknobs, in towels or on toilet seats. They also survive temperature fluctuations from -20 to +60 degrees Celsius.

The insidious thing about Noroviruses is that patients can still pass on the virus for up to two weeks. But if it has caught, the time from the infection to the disease takes only 1 to 3 days.

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