Virus hits area

Published 11:09 am Wednesday, March 21, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
Physicians in Brewton are seeing a large number of patients who are experiencing what is referred to as &#8220the crud”.
The illness has been named norovirus by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Center for Infectious Diseases.
Adkisson said the virus is not seen to be more predominate in one age group than another.
As in most gastroenteritis cases, dehydration is a problem experienced by those with the illness, Adkisson said.
Although severe dehydration can cause hospitalization, Adkisson said very few people have been admitted to a hospital as a result of the illness.
Adkisson said most people tolerate the illness well and can be treated with over-the-counter medications for the associated symptoms.
Several other names have been used for noroviruses according to the CDC website. Some of those names include: Norwalk-like viruses; caliciviruses; and small round structured viruses.
Viruses are very different from bacteria and parasites, some of which can cause illnesses similar to norovirus infection, the CDC site said. Like all viral infections, noroviruses are not affected by treatment with antibiotics, and cannot grow outside of a person's body.
Symptoms of the virus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping, Adkisson said.
Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness, CDC's site stated. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults. Most people with norovirus illness have both of these symptoms.
The CDC says noroviruses are very contagious and can spread easily from person to person. Both stool and vomit are infectious. Particular care should be taken with young children in diapers who may have diarrhea.
People infected with norovirus are contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill to at least three days after recovery, the CDC said. Some people may be contagious for as long as two weeks after recovery. Therefore, it is particularly important for people to use good handwashing and other hygienic practices after they have recently recovered from norovirus illness.