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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Norovirus facts

Unfortunately, just sitting far enough away from someone who might have Norovirus isn't sufficient to stave off getting infected with it. This is not only because it's highly contagious but also because of
  • How Norovirus spreads: Not just directly through fecal-oral transmission but also from eating and drinking contaminated food and water, handling contaminated surfaces and objects (fomites) followed by hand-to-mouth contact, and via ingestion of aerosolized particles (1), a Norovirus property unique among GI tract pathogens (2).
    • For example, samples from mantels and light fittings 1.5 meters above the ground during a hotel outbreak in England were positive for Norovirus (3), suggesting source to be aerosolized particles released from vomit.
  • How long Norovirus can stay infectious in the environment (4).
These two factors help explain why it can spread so fast in places where people spend time in close proximity to one another, such as on cruise ships, hospitals and nursing homes.

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