Definition – What is Sapovirus?
The Sapovirus was previously referred to as the Sapporo-like virus (SLV). Then again, there are doctors and scientists who refer to it as the classical calicivirus that triggers a severe gastroenteritis (stomach flu).
On its own, the Sapovirus is not a life-threatening virus. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the virus triggers a mild form of stomach flu in human beings. While the virus tends to affect people of all ages, it is quite prevalent in children.
Nonetheless, when the virus combines with another form of virus commonly referred to as norovirus, it can trigger intense viral gastroenteritis in grownups. Likewise, when the Sapovirus combines with another form of virus commonly referred to as the rotavirus, they can trigger life-threatening stomach flu in children that are aged less than 5 years.
The CDC states that there is no particular time frame in regards to when the Sapovirus can break. Outbreaks can occur at any given time. However, there are medical studies which indicate that the virus is more common during autumn and winter months, which is, between September and January. During this period, it is crucial that you look after the well-being of your children.
Sapovirus Incubation Period
As pointed out earlier, the Sapovirus on its own is not a life-threatening disease. However, when it merges with other types of viruses like rotavirus and norovirus it can cause a severe form of stomach flu, which is also commonly referred to as gastroenteritis in both adults and children. Therefore, the incubation period may differ depending on which type of virus the Sapovirus has merged with.
Incubation period when sapovirus combines with norovirus
When sapovirus merges with norovirus, the incubation period may range from 1-3 days. The incubation period in this context refer to the time the virus stays dormant in the body prior to the manifestation of the symptoms. During the incubation period, the patient is not able to transmit the disease. However, spread of infection can occur from the time the symptoms are manifested to 2 weeks after the infection has been cured.
Incubation period when the sapovirus merges with rotavirus
According to the CDC, rotavirus is the primary cause of diarrhea in children. Unlike norovirus, the virus is quite contagious during the incubation period and 2 weeks following treatment. The incubation period for rotavirus may differ from 1-2 days. Since the immune system in children is still developing, they tend to be more contagious compared to adults.
Signs and Symptoms of Sapovirus
There are numerous symptoms that a patient may display when suffering from Sapovirus. Whereas intestinal pain, dehydration and vomiting are some of the common symptoms linked to the Sapovirus, it is important to point out that the symptoms may differ from one patient to the other depending on which virus the Sapovirus has merged with.
Before a patient is diagnosed with stomach virus, he/she may experience diarrhea, nausea, fever, vomiting, muscle aches and chills. Whereas there is no cure to date for stomach flu, there is treatment for the symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe fluids so as to prevent dehydration during the course of the illness. Because of the gastrointestinal pains, patients are usually advised to eat semi-solid foods during the recovery stage.
The saying, “prevention is better than cure” is not in vain when it comes to Sapovirus. In order to deter a possible outbreak of stomach flu it is essential that you observe good hygiene. Ensure that your hands are washed with soap and water prior to handling food and eating. Encourage your children to wash their hands using antiseptic soap after visiting the toilet. You should also make a habit of washing your hands after changing your baby’s diapers. Since you may find it difficult to leave your child unattended after a change of diaper in order to wash your hands, ensure that you have a hand sanitizer close to you at all times.
Since stomach infection can easily spread from one individual to the other through sharing of utensils and close contact, it is essential that you maintain high levels of cleanliness and hygiene not only during the incubation period, but after treatment. Note that, infection can still occur 2-3 weeks after treatment.
Listed below are ways through which the virus can be transmitted from one person to the other:
- Fecal matter: Failing to wash your hands after visiting the toilet or after changing a baby’s diaper can cause spread of infection.
- Eating: Consuming foods that have been contaminated can also cause the virus to spread from one person to the other.
Cure and Prevention
There is no cure for the Sapovirus. However, there are medications that can be used to manage the symptoms. Then again, the best form of treatment is prevention. As a parent, you need to put in place structures that will curb the spread of the virus within your household. Listed below are tips on how to prevent the virus from spreading:
- Wash your hands after visiting the toilet and changing a baby’s diapers.
- Wash your hands before eating and preparing food.
- Wash your clothes and bed sheets on a regular basis.
- Fruits and vegetables should be washed properly before eating.
In addition to the above, you need to make a point of disinfecting areas where the virus might have occurred. For example, if an infected child vomited in an area, the place should be cleaned using a disinfectant. Adults and children who are infected with the virus or tend to display symptoms of stomach flu ought to be quarantined. As such, they should be prevented from preparing or handling food that are to be eaten by other people until they have shown full recovery.
The instant you have noted a member of your family displaying the symptoms listed above, take them to a doctor for diagnosis. Early treatment can be effective when it comes to curbing the spread of the disease during the incubation period.