Did You Know There Are Quick Tests for Infectious Diseases?Norovirus: Q&A
Is it possible to get a norovirus infection multiple times?
You will have immunity for about six months after being infected but it is possible to get infected again after that.
Does the virus leave the body when symptoms have finally gone after being infected?
After being infected, norovirus continues to be excreted in the stool for between one week and up to more than a month (in long cases), even if the symptoms have gone. This is why insufficient hand washing after using the toilet can easily lead to infected foods and is a cause of infection of others.
Why are bivalve clams such as oysters often a cause of food poisoning with norovirus?
The stools of those infected with norovirus gets flushed into the sewage system. Norovirus particles that survive the sewage treatment process flow into rivers mixed with domestic and commercial water and arrive at oyster farms in coastal waters and at the mouths of rivers. Bivalve clams such as oysters obtain their food by taking in and circulating lots of water (an oyster will circulate 10 to 20 liters of water through their system every hour). During that process, norovirus particles accumulate and concentrate in the oysters’ digestive glands. Eating a raw or not fully cooked oyster can then cause acute gastroenteritis.
What is the significance of a rapid test for norovirus?
Normally, it is common to provide medical care on the assumption that an illness has been caused by norovirus based on relevant factors including the clinical presentation and the infection status of other people in the community. But, it is difficult to say for certain that a condition is norovirus based on the symptoms alone. By making a firm diagnosis as quickly as possible and identifying norovirus, it is possible to isolate the patient and disinfect the surrounding environment in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease. Norovirus can be a serious risk for elderly people and infants, and it is a problem for workplace management in facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, and establishments involved in school lunches. Because of this, rapid tests have come into wide use.