There is a basic fact of life: You are constantly at risk of contracting what medically is classified as an infectious disease. These range from such commonplace illnesses like the proverbial common cold and the flu to more serious infections like that caused by the norovirus. You must be proactive when comes to protecting yourself and your family from illnesses and disease. This includes keeping your loved ones safe from the norovirus. You need to understand some essential facts about norovirus. You also need to appreciate how to keep your family and others safe through appropriate, professional norovirus cleanup.

What is Norovirus?

Norovirus is classified as a highly contagious virus and is the most common cause of gastrointestinal infections in people in the United States and around the world, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As will be discussed in greater detail in a moment, norovirus if spread via what medically is known as the fecal-oral route. In other words, even miniscule amounts of fecal matter contaminate objects (including food), that contamination resulting in the infection of people with norovirus.

Norovirus has the capability of spreading very easily and very quickly. The alarming reality is that you can become infected with norovirus by touching an object or surface contaminated by it. A person infected with norovirus can shed up to millions of “norovirus particles.” A person like you or your family members can become infected with just a few of these particles. What this means is that if a person infected with norovirus has been in your home (or your business, for that matter), the norovirus will be left behind. Members of your family will come into contact with norovirus unless your residence properly is decontaminated.

Symptoms of Norovirus Infection

A person typically begins to exhibit symptoms of a norovirus infection within 12 to 48 hours of contact with the virus. The symptoms of a norovirus infection include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • body aches
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • stomach pain

As an infection progresses, a person is apt to become dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Dizziness what standing up
  • Decreased urination

Ultimately, norovirus causes inflammation of an infected individual’s stomach and intestines. Medically, this is known as acute gastroenteritis.

Despite being a terribly unpleasant infection, most people do recover. Most otherwise healthy adults infected with norovirus recover within about one to three days. Children and older people can struggle with combating norovirus. The same is true for people with compromised immune systems or are not generally health individuals.

Despite the fact that most people do recover from a norovirus infection fairly easily (despite feeling very ill for the period of the infection), over 70,000 people are hospitalized annually in the United States as a result of a more problematic norovirus infection.

Internationally, 200,000 people die due to a norovirus infection. In the United States, approximately 600 to 800 people die as a result of a norovirus infection. Most of these deaths involve children and elderly people.

Outbreaks of Norovirus in the United States

Hospital and care facilities remain the locations where the most cases of norovirus infections occur, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, the CDC reports that currently the norovirus is causing the largest percentage of infections in hospitals in the country. Cruise ships and restaurants are also identified as major centers in which people contract norovirus. In addition, an increasing number of people in the U.S. are becoming infected with norovirus in their own homes (for the reasons described previously).

Professional Norovirus Cleanup and Sanitization

If you learn that someone has been in your home that is infected with the norovirus, you must take prompt action to protect your family. You must ensure that norovirus has been completely eliminated from your home. As was noted previously, a person infected with this virus in your home can shed millions of norovirus particles – and it only takes a few particles to infect a family member. You must be particularly vigilant in addressing possible norovirus contamination in your residence if you have children, elderly people, or someone who is ill in your home.

Two important facts underscore the need to hire a professional norovirus cleanup company. First, all of the virus must be eliminated from your home or your loved ones can become infected. No matter how diligent you may be in attempting to eliminate norovirus, a layperson simply doesn’t have the resources needed to accomplish that goal. Second, by trying to undertake norovirus cleanup on your own, you are highly likely to infect yourself with the virus.

A professional norovirus cleanup company utilizes medical grade cleaning and sanitization agents that eliminate the virus. A pro utilizes equipment that ensures 100 percent surface coverage to make absolutely certain no spot in your home is missed. In addition, a norovirus cleanup professional utilizes an antimicrobial coating that protects you from norovirus contaminating surfaces in your home for up to three months. Finally, a professional understands how to undertake comprehensive, thorough norovirus cleanup without causing cross-contamination.