Basic tips for zapping noroviruses
Noroviruses can live in the vomit or feces of infected people, but can also lurk in insufficiently heated bivalve shellfish and other foods.
A cotton swab of infected stool is thought to contain more than 100 million viruses, and only 10, if they are strong enough, are necessary to cause an infection. Noroviruses are acid-resistant, and can survive in the stomach's highly acidic environment.
Some infected patients will experience severe vomiting and diarrhea more than 10 times per day, though most do not develop fevers and symptoms disappear naturally in one or two days. Although the condition rarely becomes serious, elderly people need to be careful, as deaths have occurred due to asphyxiation on vomit or pneumonia from bacteria entering the lungs.
Group infections can occur in medical or care facilities through contact with diarrhea or vomit that gets onto the floor. Without proper sanitation, the virus can attach itself to dust and enter the body through the airways.
Basic prevention involves washing the hands with soap and running water after using the toilet or before eating.