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back after a week of UGH

Friday, December 06, 2013

hi everyone--hope you all had a terrific thanksgiving. ours was fine--but late in the night and on into Friday morning rob and I both developed what I assume to be norovirus--which if you don't know what it is--you don't want it.
norovirus is the most common cause of adult gastrointestinal flu. it is also called the Norwalk virus--apparently after Norwalk ohio. here are some facts to help safeguard against it:
it is extremely contagious--transmitted by oral contact with fecal matter or vomit (I know this is totally gross--sorry). this basically means you can catch it the way you catch any kind of bug--by touching something or eating something that has been contaminated. the bug can live for a couple weeks on a surface.
incubation time is rapid--12-48 hours is typical. you are NOT really contagious until you actually get sick. but you ARE contagious for 2 or 3 days AFTER you feel okay.
there is no treatment, no vaccine. the only thing you might go to the dr. for is if you are getting dehydrated and need some supportive care--this is esp. true of little ones and seniors. most websites I read said its better NOT to go to the dr. while you are sick--because they can't really help you and you will only succeed in making other people sick. honestly--as awful as this bug makes you feel, I don't know how you would get to the dr. in the first place--the effects are quite violent and unpleasant. this virus mutates, and while you may develop some immunity to a particular strain, you will not be immune to new strains that appear, this bug commonly strikes when cold weather hits, and it can burn its way through a population (like a school or nursing home) in record time.
HANDWASHING is the main way to protect yourself--this means actual handwashing with soap--the alcohol based cleaners will help, but they are not as effective.
bleach is the way to go if you have a family member that gets sick--bleach down the surfaces in the bathroom etc.
from personal experience--I wouldn't recommend trying to keep hydrated while you are in the vomiting stage--it won't work. when you start to feel a bit better, then start with ice chips, and gradually work up to Gatorade or something. mine lasted 24 hours and I was able to keep a commitment the following day and help out at a local business open house. I showered, then washed my hands, then hit them with alcohol based cleaner, then wore food handlers gloves the whole time I was working. even now, a week after, I still have indigestion and acid, but I am treating that successfully--I have read that it can take a couple weeks for your system to heal itself.
this bug is going around big time in our area--but its probably taking hold in lots of areas right now. be careful and keep washing those hands!
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