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article imageNorovirus cases rise in the U.K.

By Tim Sandle     Dec 29, 2014 in Health
London - Incidences of norovirus are 8 percent higher in the U.K. this season compared with the same time last year. Moreover, cases are at an all-time high in relation to the past five years.
Norovirus, sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug in some countries, is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in humans. General lethargy, weakness, muscle aches, headache, and low-grade fever may also occur. The virus is transmitted by fecally contaminated food or water, by person-to-person contact. It is at its height during the winter season. The virus often spreads in crowded public places like schools, cruise ships and nursing homes.
As an indicator of the relatively easy spread of the virus, scientists have used special tracer viruses to show that contamination of just a single doorknob can leads to the spread of viruses throughout an entire office building. The idea was to see how easily something unpleasant like norovirus spreads.
In a worrying trend within the U.K., public health officials have issued data indicating that the number of laboratory reports of norovirus in the season to date is 8 percent higher overall than the five year seasonal average. Reports of outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting in hospitals continue to be reported at similar levels to previous years.
One area where norovirus seems to strike hard is on cruise ships (whether this is statistically supported or a popular myth is uncertain.) Cruises are popular during the holiday season, where a drop in temperatures sends many people in search of winter sun holidays. Some new (and exclusive) advice has been issued by Digital Journal to help people stay healthy, including minimizing norovirus risk, while enjoying a cruise ship holiday.
There is no cure for norovirus. However, some new research suggests that carvacrol can cause the breakdown of the virus’ tough outer coat. Carvacrol is a chemical, a type of phenol. It has a characteristic pungent, warm odor of oregano. As well as oregano, it is found in a number of other plants and herbs such as wild bergamot, thyme and pepperwort.
More about Norovirus, winter vomiting disease, Virus, Sickness, Carvacrol
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