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Vomiting diarrhea: Significantly more norovirus cases found in Berlin
The number of norovirus diseases in Berlin has increased significantly. However, the increase is typical of the season. The viruses are easily transmitted and are therefore responsible for a large part of the non-bacterial gastrointestinal infections in children and adults.
More and more norovirus diseases
Vomiting diarrhea, fever, headache: The number of norovirus cases in Berlin has increased significantly. "The number of transmitted norovirus gastroenteritis remained at the elevated level of the previous week with 52 cases for the 42nd reporting week (MM)," wrote the State Office for Health and Social Affairs (Lageso) in its latest weekly report. The week before, 56 such gastrointestinal diseases had been registered in the capital. That is about twice as much as the average of the 20 weeks before.
Rise is typical of the season
According to health experts, the increase is typical of the season. The main season of the pathogens is in the cold winter months and usually lasts until March.
The total number of norovirus diseases in Berlin recorded so far for 2017 is more than 2,000. According to the information, most of the reports came from the districts of Treptow-Köpenick, Pankow and Steglitz-Zehlendorf.
However, such numbers only reflect the tip of the iceberg, since not all norovirus infections are recognized and reported as such.
New virus variant appeared
The virus had spread rapidly across the country last winter. This was also related to a new virus variant.
"In 240 examined and genotyped samples, a newly emerging variant of norovirus could be detected that has not previously been described in Germany in outbreaks or sporadic cases," wrote the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) at the time in an epidemiological bulletin.
According to the experts, the new variant was not more dangerous, but was better able to hide from the immune system, which is why more people fell ill.
Complaints usually subside after two days
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.
Young children and the elderly are particularly at risk
Noroviruses are highly contagious. Therefore, the diseases are mostly found in community facilities such as kindergartens, schools, retirement and nursing homes and hospitals. Young children and the elderly are particularly at risk.
Since patients lose a lot of fluids due to vomiting, it is important to drink a lot.
You can get infected with the smallest droplets of virus in the air or smear infections from person to person, with contaminated objects such as door handles and raw food.
How to protect yourself
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)