April 24, 2012 : 5 Ways to Stop the Norovirus from Ruining your Vacation

5 Ways to Stop the Norovirus from Ruining your Vacation

What do the BNP Parabis Open, a school in Omaha, 2 hospitals in England and a slew of Fort Wayne, Indiana Mexican restaurants have in common? Not much at first glance, but upon further inspection you can see that all of these institutions have fallen victim to the norovirus in the last 4-6 weeks.

The norovirus is a virus that is commonly identified with symptoms similar to the stomach flu such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. As well, the CDC estimates it is responsible for about half of food poisoning cases in the United States every year. This virus is highly contagious, especially in communities such as hospitals, schools, college campuses, and cruise ships. 

So how could the norovirus ruin your vacation?  Just one individual contracting it on a trip could mean the whole family will eventually be coming down with it, which means a vacation filled with the infected nursing each other back to health, and we all know how painful it can be to be ill while away from home. While many cruise liners are starting to take a proactive approach to this problem, it may be too little too late this season.

Here are five ways you can be sure to evade the norovirus this year and keep your family safe during your next vacation.

1. Always wash your hands. Most infections of any kind can be prevented with proper hand washing. If soap is unavailable consider using a Sanitizing Wipe or NoroCloth wipe. Parents should be especially cautious and prepared in carrying disinfecting wipes of some kind since children’s hands are notorious vessels for viruses and germs alike.

2. Wash fruits and vegetables.  More times than not, a person infected with the norovirus does not immediately know that they are carrying the virus, this can lead to the persons transmitting the virus through every day activities, including grocery shopping and food handling. Make sure you wash your fruits and vegetables, or that they have been properly washed, before consuming them.

3. Disinfect your residence. While the norovirus only lasts for 24-72 hours, the infected can contaminate a fair amount of surfaces during this time. Prevent the illness from recurring by disinfecting commonly touched areas such as bathrooms, doorknobs, telephones, remote controls, tables, etc. If you can not immediately wash a surface, make sure to have plenty of NoroCloth wipes on hand to eliminate infected areas as quickly as possible.

4. Wash Bedding and Clothing immediately. This virus can be airborne which means that that contaminated sheets and bedding can hamper the infected individual’s recovery process. Make sure that linens and clothing are changed immediately after use and not thrown into a hamper where the virus can take time to fester.

5. Stay home if Infected. The symptoms of the norovirus vary from person to person, but if you are experiencing any combination of the symptoms listed above make sure that you stay in your room if on vacation, or at home if not, until you are better. This may not be fun, especially if you are on vacation; however, in the long run it is best for everyone.



Health and Fitness