Again, norovirus diseases increased
Over the past year, an unusually high spread of norovirus infections has been reported from various regions in Germany. Now there are new figures: According to this, almost six times as many cases were registered in Bavaria in 2016 than fourteen years ago.
Gastrointestinal infections caused by noroviruses
Noroviruses are easily transmitted and are therefore responsible for a large part of the non-bacterial gastrointestinal infections in children and adults. The main season of the pathogens is in the cold season. Now there are new numbers about the cases of illness. The long-term observation shows a strong upward trend.
Strong upward trend in recent years
According to a message from the Landesvertretung Bayern of the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), 14,306 norovirus diseases were registered in Bavaria in 2016.
The TK relies on figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
Although this is 5.5 percent fewer cases reported than in the previous year, it is around 5.7 times as many as fourteen years ago.
Infection strikes people surprisingly quickly
Infection with noroviruses usually hits people surprisingly quickly and violently. According to the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA), the disease suddenly begins with violent diarrhea, nausea and gushing vomiting.
In addition, there is often a strong feeling of illness with muscle and abdominal pain, occasionally with a slight fever and headache.
"The severe vomiting diarrhea can quickly lead to a lack of fluid in the body, which can be manifested by a pronounced weakness or dizziness," writes the BZgA. Most of the symptoms disappear completely after a day or two.
“The viruses spread through contaminated food and beverages, but especially through stool or vomit from sick people. There is therefore an increased risk of infection in community facilities such as kindergartens, old people's homes and hospitals, ”reports the TK.
First aid for norovirus diarrhea: sugar and salt
As a first aid against diarrhea, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends stirring six level teaspoons of sugar and one level teaspoon of salt in one liter of water.
"If you want to be on the safe side, get an electrolyte solution in the pharmacy," advises TK-Landes-Bredl. If there is no other way, the liquid must be taken in spoons or sips. "Children who totally refuse to go to a doctor immediately."
According to the health insurance company, almost half of those infected are 70 or older and around a quarter are children under ten. "Those affected lose a lot of fluid and should therefore drink a lot," says Bredl.
In order to prevent infection with the dangerous noroviruses, certain hygiene measures should be observed.
The most important hygiene rule here is frequent and careful washing of hands with soap.
It is the most effective protection against viruses and bacteria, which can be excreted up to two weeks after the disease.
Each towel should only be used by one person. Toilets and surfaces should be cleaned with household cleaners and clothes should be washed particularly hot. (ad)