We all caught norovirus. About 24 hrs of it was probably the worst time we’ve had since B was born, and the rest of the time wasn’t much better.
I won’t go in to the gory details, but here’s a few tips for future me who will inevitably catch it again (because daycare). Apparently noro rips through you so fast that your body doesn’t even have time to build any meaningful immunity. Fun.
- Have the necessary meds on hand at all times. Once you are sick, there is zero chance you will want to or be able to go get supplies. Even if you could, you should avoid it for the sake of not spreading it any further. A friend or family member could pick stuff up for you, but this is so contagious that I’d be nervous to ask someone. We found that the most useful stuff was Pedialyte for rehydration and acetaminophen (paracetamol) for when the fever and aches kick in. Ibuprofen is way too hard on the stomach when you’re already feeling delicate. If you’re in a tough spot and don’t have the supplies, there are a lot of homemade rehydration fluid recipes online. Here are a few from the UVA Health System, and one from the NHS. Note that nausea suppressants are to be avoided apparently, the whole point is to get whatever is in there out or you’ll keep feeling bad.
- This thing hits fast. We were first exposed to B’s symptoms in the morning, and we started our bouts in a spectacular fashion almost exactly one and a half days later. It can hit sooner or later, I would imagine that depends on the exact strain, but it’s usually 1-2 days. If you suspect that one of you has norovirus and you don’t have it yet, maybe avoid being far from home. I was at dinner with a friend 45 minutes away. I made it home just barely, but I went from feeling 100% fine and ready for some poke to “oh… OH no…” in about a split second. (Side note: I thought B had just eaten something weird. Would never have gone out if I had any inkling otherwise, both for my and my friend’s sake! Thankfully she seems to be fine, so I’m assuming (hoping) I wasn’t just blindly spreading noro that evening.)
- Norovirus moves fast. The “active” stage (ew) was basically over after 12 hours. We both felt really bad, like bedridden-bad, for 2 days in total and then had a bit of weakness and rough appetites for maybe two days after that. It doesn’t make the worst of it any better, but at least it doesn’t last that long. They don’t really know concretely how long you can be contagious for, but the advice I’ve seen on the CDC and NHS sites seems to be that you should self-quarantine until you have been symptom-free for 2 days.
- Totally anecdotal, but it seemed a lot worse for us than it was for B… Which I’m thankful for, but it’s not what I would expect. I asked friends about it and they had similar experiences. Make of that what you will.