Norovirus, Our Old Nemesis
Another year has brought another strain if norovirus to the states. This version has become colloquially known as “winter vomiting disease,” and it is aptly named: Distinguished by lasting misery and a preponderance of bodily fluids, WVD is a scourge that seems to have spiked in the end of 2012:
“The new strain spread rapidly across the United States from September to December 2012,” Dr. Aron Hall an epidemiologist at the CDC’s Division of Viral Diseases, said in a statement. “The proportion of reported outbreaks caused by this strain increased dramatically from 19 percent in September to 58 percent in December.”
Though the worst part of the infection is usually short lived, young children and the elderly are most at risk of serious complications due to dehydration and fluid loss. Each year, noroviruses cause an estimated 21 million illnesses and 800 deaths, the CDC says.
Viral respiratory diseases such as these include the common cold, and sadly cannot be treated with any known intervention in our medical arsenal. Thankfully your body can usually dispatch with this sort of virus on its own, but it will need some help: fluids, warmth, rest.
The danger with any virus is that it could lead to a true bacterial infection, especially if congestion blocks off the sinuses, creating perfect conditions for sinusitis or serious rhinitis. Has your Winter Vomiting Disease graduated to the Bacterial Ailment of Doom (BAD)? Call my sinus offices today for a consultation.