Over the last few weeks, an unusually high prevalence of norovirus infections has been observed in various regions of Germany. In Bavaria, the number of such infections has almost doubled since the beginning of October. The gastrointestinal infections cause severe ailments such as diarrhea and vomiting.
Norovirus season starts exceptionally early
The crushing diarrhea season, which almost every year in the cold months adjusts, has started this time much earlier. Health experts have surprised the unexpectedly drastic start of the Norovirus period in Germany. Noroviruses are easily transmitted and lead to gastrointestinal infections with ailments such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. In Bavaria there have been particularly many cases of illness in recent weeks.
Nearly doubled infections in Bavaria
According to a news from the news agency dpa, almost twice as many people have been struggling with the norovirus in the free time since the beginning of October as in the previous year. The Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety( LGL) registered almost 2,600 cases by the end of last Sunday. In 2015 it was only around 1,300.
"In the current season, the numbers of cases for norovirus infections are in the upper range over the last five years", explained a LGL spokesman according to dpa. According to the data, there were the most cases per inhabitant in Lower Bavaria and Oberfranken, each with about 20 diseases per 100,000 inhabitants.
According to LGL, the Norovirus season has also begun in Bavaria earlier than in previous years."A forecast of how the season develops, however, is not possible," the spokesman said.
Noroviruses are highly contagious. According to health experts, the disease usually breaks out rapidly after infection, usually between six hours and two to a maximum of three days.
Because of the high contagiousness, the diseases are often found in community facilities such as kindergartens, schools, nursing homes and hospitals. Small children and senior citizens are particularly affected.
The most important contraception source are the infected persons
"The most important contagious source are sick people who excrete the viruses with the chair and vomit. The direct transmission from human to human is the most common cause of outbreaks by norovirus infections, "writes the LGL on his website.
"Also hygienic deficiencies during the processing or preparation of food can lead to the contamination of food or beverages with noroviruses and thus to infection accumulations. Likewise, transmission through contaminated objects is possible, "it says.
Even healthy people are still contagious
No medicines are available for the reportable gastrointestinal disease, only the symptoms can be treated. Usually, the complaints are over after one to three days, but the affected persons are still infect after 48 hours, warned Bayern's health minister Melanie Huml( CSU).
The best protection against gastrointestinal infections is regular and thorough hand washing.
In general, attention should be paid to hygiene regulations. Avoid contact with patients. In case of illness, it is important to drink a lot to balance the loss of fluid.(ad)