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Self-Care at Home
The best self-care with norovirus infection is to stay well hydrated with fluids. Although water helps to hydrate the body, it does not provide replenishment of the electrolytes the body loses rapidly with vomiting and diarrhea. Consequently, for adults, clear fluids (for example, sports drinks, Sprite, juices without any pulp, bouillon) are recommended. For children, commercially available solutions that do not require a prescription (for example, Pedialyte, Enfalyte, and Pediatric Electrolyte) are recommended. After each watery stool, the person should attempt to take in fluid roughly equal to the amount excreted (about 1-3 ounces for children under the age of 2, 3-8 ounces for older children, and 8 or more ounces in adults). Pregnant females with norovirus infections tend to become dehydrated faster than nonpregnant females or males, so these individuals should rehydrate quickly. If individuals fail to take in adequate fluids and start to become dehydrated, seek medical care immediately. Most physicians do not recommend taking over-the-counter antidiarrheal medications such as diphenoxylate atropine (Lomotil) or loperamide hydrochloride (Imodium) because they may prolong the infection or cause complications.
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