Handwashing, Norovirus, and YOU. Yes YOU.
Norovirus! Also known as the “Winter Vomiting Virus” according to the CDC, although this is the first time I’ve heard it called that. It is incredi- bly infectious and has already shut down the Greater Albany Public Schools due to an outbreak.
The symptoms of norovirus are well-known, obvious, and unfortunately effective at spreading itself—to put it bluntly, norovirus causes a truly debilitating amount of spontaneous vomiting and diarrhea. Possibly simultaneously. Fortunately, symptoms typically only last for a day or two, and typically the only problematic element of the virus (aside from the ... mess) is the risk of dehydration. So rest and drink water! Prefer- ably close to a toilet.
Humans are the only known reservoirs of the disease, and they can begin shedding the illness a few hours before symptoms begin and up to two weeks after symptoms end. The disease typically spreads via the fecal-oral route, which leads to the common counter of...
This week is Handwashing Week! Featuring hot running water! Soap! And hand sanitizer! In a state riddled with norovirus outbreaks! Wash your hands today, frequently! And if you ever feel like it is a waste of time, just remember the phrase “fecal-oral route” and you should find your motivation.