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Norovirus Outbreak in California

Posted on January 07 2013

An outbreak in California of the highly-contagious Norovirus has prompted researchers and public health officials to take action and start dialogue about the illness. 2 patients have died and 60 others have become infected by a Norovirus outbreak at their retirement home. This most recent outbreak follows a November 2012 occurrence in another California senior-housing facility, where the sick totaled 27. The Norovirus is a gastrointestinal virus which causes flu-like symptoms including projectile vomiting and severe diarrhea. This highly-contagious virus is spread direct touch with infected individuals, surfaces, and foods. Additionally, projectile vomiting has added to the spread; if not cleaned up properly the Norovirus can live up to 12 days in the contaminated area. The Norovirus is resistant to most household cleaning chemicals and regular hand sanitizers. Experts suggest using bleach, as it has been the most effective in battling the virus. As projectile vomiting is the main source of the Norovirus spread, areas that have been saturated must immediately be cleaned and bleached to protect those who are not ill. A new demonstration, looking at the spread of the virus through projectile vomiting, illustrates how this symptom greatly impacts the spread of the illness. In the case of the influenza virus, a potential host must ingest hundreds of viral fragments to become sick; with the Norovirus a potential host needs only 20-25 viral fragments to become ill, making the spread hard to contain. The Norovirus generally lasts up to 62 hours with symptom onset in 12-48 hours after exposure. All patients who become infected with the Norovirus should isolate themselves from people until 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped.   Caregivers are advised to: - Use protective items including gloves, face masks, and intense antibacterial hand soaps - Avoid touching their your face or eyes - Always wash hands before eating - Clean up any contaminated surfaces immediately   Mountainside Medical Equipment is a proud distributor of high-quality infection control products including facemasks, gloves, protective outwear, and cleansers. Take advantage of our great selection, low prices, and fantastic shipping options by placing an order online, through our website. Orders can also be placed by calling 1-888-687-4334 and speaking with one of our knowledgeable Medical Supply Specialists.   Sources: ABC News - Medical Unit - http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/01/05/vomiting-robot-helps-researchers-understand-norovirus/ NPR - http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/01/04/168608466/as-norovirus-rages-a-robot-named-vomiting-larry-gets-a-closeup The Washington Post - http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/officials-2-die-after-norovirus-outbreak-sickens-dozens-at-california-senior-center/2013/01/04/2df3d1ec-56d1-11e2-8a12-5dfdfa9ea795_story.html ABC News - http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/die-outbreak-california-senior-center-18135914#.UOriCXc_qp0

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