Sunday, January 22, 2012

Winter vomiting bug

This is just one of the many names for the norovirus responsible for 90% of 'the winter crud' in the US. I have been referring to it in my previous posts as the Norwalk virus, which is just one strain of the norovirus. The norovirus is an RNA virus that lacks the waxy coat that other viruses and I assume most bacteria have. Why does this matter? It means that alcohol based sanitizers and detergents (hand soap) do not kill it. Chlorine bleach will however. It is amazingly infectious. As little as one to ten viruses will lead to an infection. It is spread on surfaces, through air , through direct contact and through food prepared by an infectious person. It can even become aerosolized in a public restroom when the toilet is flushed. What is amazing to me is that more people don't have it. Some how I have lived many years without having it but this year, I have gotten it twice as has Steve and Naomi. For reasons I can't understand, people with Type O blood are much more likely to contact it. I think I am the only one in my family who has Type O (though I am not sure about Ramy or Julia). I guess knowing what I do now, it was not wise to invite everyone over for dinner the day I was so sick around Thanksgiving though I took many precautions. Shanna got ill a week later but usually one gets it within 3 days. The rest of my guests did not get it.

On the positive side, no one dies from it and it is short-lived. One gets a short term immunity from it so hopefully I am good for the cruise leaving in 2 weeks. My friend and I made some arrangements for it last night so most of our stay is planned. She is still deciding about whether she wants to get up close and personal to the sting rays.

I did read a funny story about the norovirus outbreak. Recently there was a conference for journalism students in which the virus spread like wildfire. During the main speaker's talk, 50 students rushed out to vomit leaving the speaker puzzled.


Teri Bernstein said...

The big question: Where is your cruise headed? Who is going with? xoxo OH--and glad you are feeling better...

Snowbrush said...

If the speaker had been emotionally unstable, perhaps he or she might have also rushed off to the bathroom and committed suicide. Such images come when one has a sufficiently black sense of humor.

Alli said...

Seems to be a lot of it every where. My friends oldest son has had twice as well and he's a big guy not usually brought to his knees with a bug. So far touch wood we haven't been hit. Then again I am A+ lol



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