Science can be very complicated, very clinical and hard to understand in all of its enormity. So, let me break it down for you. In simple terms. Norovirus is a germ. Germs are bad. Ergo, Noroviroous is bad. How bad? Another name for this thing is Winter vomiting disease. Pretty picture? It can follow a roundabout transmission path, but it begins in fecal matter. Need I say more?
This year, 2013, may be an especially bad year around the world. In England and Wales reported cases are already 83 per cent higher than at this point in the 2011 season. Japan is warning of an epidemic. In the United States, it’s said that one of every fifteen people will get the bug this year resulting in over 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths.
Norovirous is very contagious travelling via the fecal, hand, mouth route. Not that you have to stick your nasty finger in your mouth. What that means is that you touch someone, or somethig that may have come in contact with that nastiness and then something you touch ends up in your mouth. Like food maybe. The Center for Disease Control says that contamination by infected food handlers, those wonderful people who prepare and serve our food in restaraunts and health care facilities, causes most foodborne norovirous infections.
If you get it, you’ll know pretty quickly. The symptoms, diarrhea, vomitting and abdominal cramps, will appear within a day or two. Fortuneatley, in most cases the bug will run its course in a couple of days and you’ll be all better. But you are still contagious for at least three days after you feel better. Different people are affected differently with young children, older adults and those with a compromised immune system being more likely to be hit harder.
Our story has a happy ending though. It’s not really the end, its more like the way to prevent the story from beginning in the first place. WASH YOUR HANDS! Handwashing breaks the chain of infection. Simple. And clean up around you. High touch surfaces should be cleaned over and over and over. There are a lot of variations of soap and water and disinfectatnts to be used for efffective cleaning. Choose something, and use it! Your insides will be glad you did.
Information in this entry was derived from Jim Mann’s blog entitled 2013: The Year of the …Norovirous?