5 Things You Need To Know About That Other Flu – Norovirus
Many of us joke that it's nature's weight loss program but norovirus, more commonly called stomach flu, is a real disease and it can be just as deadly as influenza. According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, this year is a typical season for influenza and for norovirus. You're probably aware of how to avoid the flu and prevent it's spread but how much do you know about norovirus?
There Are Vaccines
Well, there are vaccines in the works is closer to accurate. Just like flu vaccines, these medicines have got to be constantly updated to stay ahead of changes in the virus. Currently, there is a promising trial underway that might make getting a norovirus shot as readily available as a flu shot.
The Virus Mutates
That means that this year's norovirus virus isn't exactly like last years. Chances are next year's virus will be a little different as well. That means an annual vaccination to keep up with the mutations of the virus will be recommended once an approved protocol has been developed.
One Can Infect Hundreds
The main reason for this is that people often feel well enough to return to work while they are still very contagious. For example, one food service worker can literally infect hundreds of people by returning to work too soon and not utilizing very diligent hygiene practices.
The Virus Is Hard To Kill
With the more common influenza virus, hygiene is important and people often use alcohol-based hand sanitizers to prevent the virus spread. The Norovirus is resistant to alcohol, therefore hand sanitizers aren't as effective. The virus is also resistant to many common disinfectants too.
When You Feel Better You're Still Contagious
With a common case of the flu, you won't feel like returning to work until you are actually better. With Norovirus you might feel more than capable of returning to your job. You're still very contagious. It's this extra opportunity for exposure that explains why the stomach flu has a tendency to work its way through an office or classroom one person at a time.