As the world starts to lift restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, other common viruses will likely make a return as the general population returns to pre-pandemic activity and behavior. In the UK, for example, by July 2021 cases of norovirus are 72% higher than they were during the same period last year.
Are we seeing a resurgence of Norovirus?
With COVID-19 still circulating, people may start to confuse norovirus with coronavirus and vice versa. This may present issues when it comes to diagnosis and treatment. Is it wise to obtain a test, for example? Are there certain home remedies that may be more effective for norovirus than COVID-19? How can you avoid falling ill in the first place?
To help put your mind at rest and make appropriate preparations to deal with these viruses, we’ve put together a handy guide to their primary similarities and differences.
What is COVID-19?As you’re probably well aware by now, COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a coronavirus formally known as SARS-CoV-2. Most people who catch the virus experience mild or moderate respiratory symptoms and recover without medical intervention. A relatively small proportion – many of whom have underlying health conditions or are over the age of 65 – are more likely to fall seriously ill from the virus.
Although vaccination programs are starting to lower mortality rates related to COVID-19, it still represents a threat to the health and wellbeing of many throughout the world. As such, people who test positive for COVID-19 must do everything they can to isolate and avoid spreading the virus to others.
What are the main recognized symptoms of COVID-19?
- A cough
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of taste of smell
- A runny nose or congested sinuses
- A sore throat
What is norovirus?Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and nausea. As with COVID-19, some people with norovirus don’t experience any symptoms. Norovirus primarily spreads via close contact with infected people or through contaminated surfaces and foods.
How can I tell the difference between norovirus and COVID-19?Unfortunately, there are many overlapping symptoms caused by norovirus and COVID-19, making self-diagnosis difficult. The first thing to consider is whether you have been in contact with someone infected with either virus. If your close contacts have come down with norovirus, for example, there is a chance that one of them infected you with the virus (or vice versa). It is also worth noting that some symptoms such as shortness of breath and a loss of taste and smell are much more strongly linked to COVID-19.
As COVID-19 is the more serious of the two viruses, you must always rule it out with a test as soon as symptoms arise.