Is the winter vomiting bug rampent in hospitals caused by handling too many rec!

Winter Vomiting Bug is a virus called Norovirus. It is EXTREMELY contagious. I'm sure handling recycle bins is part of the problem, but lemme expand on that.

Noro causes diarrhea and vomiting. The violent expulsion of these things from your digestive tract can aerosolize the virus. The virus travels through the air and lands on things. Or it gets on hands, which (if not washed properly) can spread the virus to food and objects (fomites). It spreads in winter because that's when people tend to stay cloistered indoors.

In hospitals, Noro spreads like crazy (we've seen a lot of health facility outbreaks where I am). This is because patients can aerosolize the virus or contaminate food and objects, spreading it to other patients. Oftentimes, the virus lands on health facility employees (like nurses and janitors who handle recycle bins), who move from patient to patient, spreading the virus around the population.

How do you control Noro in hospitals? Quarantine the infected patients and assign staff to work exclusively with them. Keep uninfected patients away, do not admit more patients to the ward, and do not allow visitors to come near Noro-infected people. If staff are infected, they must stay home until TWO days after resolution of disease. Because Noro is hardy and aerosolizes, it is EXTREMELY important to sanitize any contaminated surfaces (like bathrooms and recycle bins). There are environmental health standards and protocols specifying the products you MUST use to clean the area. Sheets must be bleached and washed in hot water.

Anyway, what else could I say about Noro? If you're sick, stay home! And if you're not sick but around infected folks, wash your hands in hot, soapy water. Exercise universal precautions.

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