Norovirus Outbreak, 225 U.S. Outbreaks This Season According to CDC

Here’s some potentially explosive news that might be hard to swallow. Norovirus, you know the so-called “stomach virus” that can cause projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea, has been quite successful in the UK and US A February 9 report from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) indicated that norovirus cases in the UK were 66% higher than the typical average for this time of year. Meanwhile, a graph from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows how the average percentage of norovirus tests that come back positive over a three-week period reached 16% in late January, 0.6% higher than Never. last winter. Additionally, from August 1, 2022 to January 8, 2023, the CDC NoroSTAT system recorded 225 reported norovirus outbreaks, up from 172 in the same period last year. That meant a lot of faecal incontinence in two countries on two different continents.

What’s happening in the US and the UK has been much more than a twinge of vomit. The UKHSA report quoted Lesley Larkin, BVSc, MSc, MRCVS, Head of Surveillance, UKHSA’s Division of Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety (One Health) as saying: “Levels of norovirus are currently the highest we have seen at this time of year in over a decade. The majority of reported cases are in people over the age of 65 and we are also seeing an increase in reported outbreaks, particularly in nursing home settings.” And across the pond, there was “a dramatic increase in cases in January,” in the tweeted words of Melvin Sanicas, MD, senior medical director at Clover Biopharmaceuticals, which accompanies a photo of the CDC chart:

This is obviously not good news unless you are the virus or you really like throwing up. The norovirus, also known as the “winter vomiting bug,” is not a fun virus to catch. It is very rare for the words “projectile vomiting” or “explosive diarrhea” to be uttered in the same sentence as the word “fun”, unless there is a “no” somewhere in the middle like “not fun” or “not fun”. It’s so explosive.” ”

The virus is also highly infectious and does not have an infectious personality. In fact, as I mentioned to forbes previously, Aron Hall, DVM, MSPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) epidemiologist described norovirus as the “perfect pathogen”. This is perfect from a virus perspective and not a human perspective. It doesn’t take much, just 18 virus particles, to cause an infection.

The virus can also support many standard cleaning substances. So even a clean looking surface can still contain the virus. When a surface may be contaminated with norovirus vomit, try using some type of bleach or bleach-based cleaner. But for the sake of Pete and everyone else, don’t inject the bleach into your body. When washing any clothing or bedding that may have been contaminated, use detergent and heat the water to at least 60°C (140°F) to be sure to inactivate or kill the virus.

In the end, or actually both ends, the virus has its ways of making you spread the virus even further. A norovirus infection can make you vomit and poop more profusely than you’ve ever experienced in a period of several days. As a result, you can leave the virus on multiple surfaces for your various roommates, family members, and friends to pick up on as well. This keeps the virus life cycle coming and going.

Even after the symptoms disappear, you can still eliminate the virus for some time. So don’t tell everyone, “Hey, now that I’m done throwing up and having diarrhea this morning, I’m going to make dinner tonight.” Instead, wait until at least 48 hours have passed since you last had symptoms before mixing with other people again.

While most healthy adults eventually recover fully after several days of potty training, the infection can leave you very dehydrated unless you make an effort to drink enough fluids to replenish what’s coming out of you. . This can be especially troublesome and even fatal for those who are very young, very old, or immunocompromised in some way.

So how do you avoid getting the norovirus? Well, if someone is vomiting or having diarrhea, you probably don’t want to lick the utensils you just used or come into close contact with anything the person might have contaminated. Don’t say “Ewww” every time you’re around the person. But it’s a good idea to keep your distance while he’s sick. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly too. Alcohol gels do not kill the virus. Even if you used so much hand sanitizer that it felt like you were wearing hand sanitizer gloves, the live virus could still remain on your hands. So wash your hands with soap and water. Keep telling yourself, “I would use soap and water.”

It’s hard to project how long this stream of projectile vomiting and diarrhea might last. But even when norovirus activity eventually subsides this spring, you’ll continue to practice all the precautions mentioned above. Norovirus infections can occur year-round. And it’s not like you get to a month where it’s okay not to wash your dirty, dirty hands.

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