Commonly known as a stomach flu, Norovirus is a general term used to describe symptoms associated with a variety of stomach flu ailments. For travelers, especially on cruise ships and airlines, the potential for infecting someone or acquiring the Norovirus is quite common. Unfortunately, when inflicted with this gastrointestinal condition, a vacation can quickly turn downward with the onset of Norovirus symptoms. For travelers, understanding the symptoms and methods for treating Norovirus will ensure a more pleasant return to vacation activities.
When traveling, and infected with the Norovirus, symptoms commonly appear as standard flu type symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and severe stomach cramping. In some cases, Norovirus symptoms can be of such severity so as to completely halt a family vacation. With Norovirus symptoms generally lasting from one to two days, dehydration associated with Norovirus can only impede recovery resulting in a greater detriment to the vacation.
Diagnosing Norovirus is relatively simple as the condition most often presents as flu type symptoms but will most significantly involve stomach related symptoms. Because the Norovirus is highly contagious, individuals in contact with the Norovirus host will become ill relatively quickly. Unlike food poisoning, Norovirus symptoms last greater than 24 hours and, unlike the flu, the symptoms will disspate usually about 48 hours after onset.
Because Norovirus is a viral infection of the gastrointenstinal tract, treatment is limited. For many sufferers of Norovirus, remaining in bed, getting lots of rest, drinking fluids and limiting food intake is the most common method of treatment. As a virus, there are no prescription antibiotics which prove effective in curing the condition. The primary goal, especially when traveling on vacation cruiseliners is to limit contact with other individuals and provide methods for relieving symptoms until the virus has passed. Unfortunately, for cruise line travelers, vacations can result in the entire passenger group suffering from infection of the Norovirus. For this reason, choosing a reputable, clean and safe cruiseline may provide one element of safe and healthy travel plans.
As with any virus, using proper preventative measures including using clean towels and utensils, in addition to washing hands frequently, may be the primary line of defense to ensure a cruise vacation is not cut short by the onset of Norovirus. When suffering from Norovirus symptoms while on vacation, it is imperative to seek methods to obtain adequate rest, intake significant quantities of fluid and remain in isolation so as to prevent the further spread of disease to other travelers.