Since the beginning of winter, there has been a significant increase in the number of infants and young children with symptoms of infectious gastroenteritis in major hospitals. Recently, a rumor about the rapid spread of novel viral gastroenteritis across the country has spread widely in WeChat Moments, causing concern and panic among many parents. Rumors have it that this new type of virus is called the “norovirus”, which causes children to vomit and diarrhea after infection. When vomiting, it appears as a jet, and the diarrhea is difficult to stop until dehydration. Is the fact as serious as rumor suggests? In fact, the so-called new virus was discovered as early as 1968. Norovirus is the main pathogen causing viral diarrhea and can occur throughout the year.

1、 Is Norovirus a Rotavirus?

Both rotavirus and norovirus are common viruses that cause diarrhea in infants and young children. In previous years, diarrhea was mainly caused by rotavirus in autumn and winter, followed by norovirus; This year, there have been significantly more Norovirus infections. According to frontline doctors at the hospital, a typical manifestation of Norovirus infection this year is severe vomiting, inability to eat, followed by diarrhea, and in severe cases, watery stools. Compared to rotavirus, norovirus infection causes more acute onset and more severe symptoms, but there are fewer cases of developing chronic diarrhea or persistent symptoms. As long as diagnosed and treated promptly, diarrhea can be stopped in an average of 3-5 days, while rotavirus infection often takes 7 or even more days to recur.

Due to the extremely similar symptoms caused by rotavirus and norovirus infections, many parents are easily confused. Once a child experiences diarrhea, parents need to accurately identify these two viruses in order to provide appropriate care for the child and promote speedy recovery. In fact, parents can distinguish from the following aspects:

(1) High incidence period

Norovirus: Infections can occur throughout the year, with a high incidence in cold seasons;

Rotavirus: It spreads every autumn.

(2) Infected object

Norovirus: mainly in adults and school-age children;

Rotavirus: Infants and young children.

(3) Route of transmission

Norovirus: mainly transmitted through the intestines, transmitted through drinking or consuming contaminated water and food;

Rotavirus: fecal oral pathway.

(4) Typical symptoms

Norovirus: Fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. Diarrhea can occur up to 4-8 times within 24 hours, with watery or watery stools and no mucus abscess. In addition, symptoms such as headaches, chills, and muscle pain can also be observed, with severe cases leading to dehydration symptoms.

Rotavirus: Acute gastroenteritis, with a course of 7 days and a fever lasting for 3 days. It usually starts with vomiting and then diarrhea, with vomiting lasting for 2-3 days and diarrhea lasting for 5 days. In severe cases, dehydration symptoms may occur.


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