The Virus No One Is Talking About


Credited by: Hannah Hausch

Hannah Hausch, Reporter

Based on what’s been observed so far, the Norovirus, also known as the stomach flu, unexpectedly spread through Briar Woods High School in February of 2023. But what is the so-called “Norovirus” that people hear about? According to the Virginia Health Department, the Norovirus is an extremely contagious virus that causes inflammation in the lining of the stomach. This virus reaches its highest peak during the Winter season. Since there are lower levels of sunlight reaching the virus, it is able to survive and continues to spread. 

Countless students have been experiencing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping, and dehydration. Symptoms begin to appear 10-50 hours after exposure, ceasing within the span of 1-3 days. 

Gracel Kanku, a 10th grader at Briar Woods High School, said that “my cousin got norovirus. I knew she had it cause her lips were always dry, she was always thirsty, [and]  she would always puke when she would eat. At first, I thought she just had a stomach bug, but it turned out she had the virus.” The Norovirus can be transmitted through direct contact with a person who is infected, eating foods or drinking liquids that are contaminated with the virus, or touching objects and proceeding on touching the eyes or mouth.

An 11th grader at Briar Woods high school said that “It’s a new virus at Briar, actually. Most of us had it but never knew. Even one teacher was scared of getting it. The teacher doesn’t want to take risks of getting sick, so she wears a mask.” The symptoms shown throughout the Norovirus are quite similar to the symptoms displayed during the course of the flu. The 11th grader explained that “ [because of this,] it’s hard to figure out if it’s the flu.”

Unfortunately, there is no particular medication that can treat it, but there are over-the-counter medications to alleviate the symptoms. According to the Virginia Department Of Health, since so much water is lost from the body during sickness, it is essential to drink plenty of liquids. 

A college student who attends NOVA explained that while she had the Norovirus, she “took an imodium. I couldn’t eat anything, so all I could eat was apple sauce and crackers. I drank a lot of water and stayed in bed all day.” Methods to prevent it from spreading would include washing hands thoroughly and removing or washing any kind of clothing that has been infected.