Yes, I know I promised a lengthy lecture on Fed Chairman Paul Volker and the slaying of the Inflation Dragon. Well, given the horrible condition the I have been in the past 72 hours, the ballad of Sir Paul and his Gallant Knights will have to wait. Well, that and it is Groundhog Day so there really shouldn’t be any lectures anyway…
See if you can guess what I did the last 72 hours?
From Wiki (checked)
The norovirus was originally named the “Norwalk agent” after Norwalk, Ohio, in the United States, where an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis occurred among children at Bronson Elementary School in November 1968. In 1972, electron microscopy on stored human stool samples identified a virus, which was given the name “Norwalk virus.” Numerous outbreaks with similar symptoms have been reported since. The cloning and sequencing of the Norwalk virus genome showed that these viruses have a genomic organization consistent with viruses belonging to the family Caliciviridae. The name was shortened to “norovirus” after being identified in a number of outbreaks on cruise ships and receiving attention throughout the United States. The name “norovirus” (Norovirus for the genus) was approved by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) in 2002.
In addition to “Norwalk agent” and “Norwalk virus,” the virus previously has been called “Norwalk-like virus,” “small, round-structured viruses” (SRSVs), and “Snow Mountain virus.” Common names of the illness caused by noroviruses still in use include “winter vomiting disease,” “winter vomiting bug,” “viral gastroenteritis,” and “acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis.” It also colloquially is known as “stomach flu,” but this actually is a broad name that refers to gastric inflammation caused by a range of viruses and bacteria.
Noroviruses are a genetically diverse group of single-stranded RNA, non-envelopedviruses in the Caliciviridae family. The viruses are transmitted by fecally-contaminated food or water; by person-to-person contact; and via aerosolization of the virus and subsequent contamination of surfaces. Noroviruses are the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in humans, and affect people of all ages.
Norovirus infection is characterized by nausea, forceful vomiting, watery diarrhea, and abdominal pain, and in some cases, loss of taste. General lethargy, weakness, muscle aches, headache, coughs, and low-grade fever may occur. The disease is usually self-limiting, and severe illness is rare. A small number of people die, mostly the very young, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.
Winter vomiting bug is a common term for noroviruses in the UK, because the virus tends to cause vomiting and to spread more easily in winter, when people tend to spend more time indoors and near to each other.
After infection, immunity to norovirus is usually incomplete and temporary. Outbreaks of norovirus infection often occur in closed or semiclosed communities, such as long-term care facilities, overnight camps, hospitals, prisons, dormitories, and cruise ships, where the infection spreads very rapidly either by person-to-person transmission or through contaminated food. Many norovirus outbreaks have been traced to food that was handled by one infected person.
The genus name Norovirus is derived from Norwalk virus, which causes approximately 90% of epidemic nonbacterial outbreaks of gastroenteritis around the world, and may be responsible for 50% of all foodborne outbreaks of gastroenteritis in the United States.
‘General lethargy’ is a fine description of where I am now.
Of course, prevention is key:
Practice proper hand hygiene
Wash your hands carefully with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers and always before eating or preparing food. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. These alcohol-based products can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but they are not a substitute for washing with soap and water.
Take care in the kitchen
Carefully wash fruits and vegetables, and cook oysters and other shellfish thoroughly before eating them.
Do not prepare food while infected
People with norovirus illness should not prepare food for others while they have symptoms and for 3 days after they recover from their illness. (see For Food Handlers: Norovirus and Working with Food)
Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces
After throwing up or having diarrhea, immediately clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces by using a bleach-based household cleaner as directed on the product label. If no such cleaning product is available, you can use a solution made with 5 tablespoons to 1.5 cups of household bleach per 1 gallon of water.
Wash laundry thoroughly
Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with vomit or stool. Handle soiled items carefully—without agitating them—to avoid spreading virus. If available, wear rubber or disposable gloves while handling soiled clothing or linens and wash your hands after handling. The items should be washed with detergent at the maximum available cycle length and then machine dried.