Norovirus- what's the deal?

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I should mention that I suffer from health anxiety, so newspapers, google and people babbling on about sick bugs are certainly not my best friend! Quite a few people at work have come down with this winter vomiting, norovirus thing...I am starting to panic myself a lot about this so much that I don't want to go to work and start to actually hate the people for having it-which I know is wrong as they can't help it...I have come here to try and get some sensible, decent and truthful answers rather than tabloid hype to keep people scared. I would consider myself quite a healthy person in general. I work in an office with 4 other people but of course do come into contact with other people in my work building (like the kitchen, hallways, toilets etc). One of my questions would be: can you pick up the virus just by sitting next to someone, talking to them or walking past them if of course they are infected? OR are you more at risk if say your baby throws up all over you or you have to clean up vomit from someone you care for etc-you get my drift...how infectious is it really, if you just sit at your desk and walk down the corridor etc? Te second thing is, do probiotics help prevent thins kind of thing? I take an acidopholus tablet twice a day and drink 20ml of an intest care liquid and I eat a probiotic yoghurt every day? Will this do any good and help me? Is there anything else I could take which would help me prevent it? I wash my hands loads and use handgel as well....Thank you for your honest replies. Xxx

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    It's pretty contagious, it's the vomit and or diarrhoea that's full of the virus, it's down to the personal hygiene of the people you come into contact with, if a person has these bodily matters on their hands or clothes, it can be airborne if it's dried...

    There's a Patient UK leaflet on the topic : Conditions > N > Norovirus

    I had it earlier this year,, it was hilarious :D :[

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  • Posted

    It is technically diabolical but if you are (I am) used to feeling terrible then I'd rate it as a mere sniffle on the scale of things to be honest smile
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  • Posted

    ..been through and it's horrible (don't wanna remember it)
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  • Posted

    Hand washing is key to preventing the spread of the noro virus. You cannot breath the virus in, the viral particles must be swallowed to become infected. If you are in the same room when somebody who is infected vomits the virus becomes aerosolised and as there are 30,000,000 viral particles you have a high chance of becoming infected.
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  • Posted

    Hi Charlie, thank you for your answer. I certainly wash my hands a lot during the day and use hand gel in addition, though I have heard this doesn't protect you from Noro unless it's a specific hand gel made for that. I think your answer has actually put my mind to rest a little. When you read papers etc they make it sound like you can catch it by just walking past someone. It obviously worries me a lot, as I have Health Anxiety issues and i work full time in a fairly busy office where a lot of my colleagues have children who they mention are often ill etc. So basically you're saying I only have to worry if someone actually vomits in the same room that I am in? Sorry to be so pedantic, but say someone has this virus and just was sick, then came walking into the same room as me and started talking to me-could it be passed on like that? Another thing I am scared about is that I have to go for a meal with work next week and this is always very hard for me, as I have issues with other people preparing my food-if the person preparing my food had this virus on their hands, could it transfer to my food and infect me if I eat it? Perhaps if the food were hot the virus would die? The place we are going to is quite decent, but you just never know. Thanks for your time.
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  • Posted

    Someone with Norovirus won't be going to work for a week, afterwards they'd have to be pretty disgusting (personal hygiene wise) to traipse it into work smile
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  • Posted

    Yes, I suppose that is true, but you always get people who play heroes and come in anyway only to go home half way through the day...but is it not true that you can be infectious before even knowing you have it?
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  • Posted

    A whole office building contaminated by a hero would be funny :D :[ But seriously. If Norovirus is in your area then you are likely to catch a dose, simples neutral
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  • Posted

    I linked to this article, www.squidoo.com/norovirus2 because it is very information and up to date. The virus cannot be breathed in, you do have to swallow the viral particles. The reason that it is so contagious is that it only requires as little as 20 viral particles to become infected. It is more prevalent in the winter because people tend to gather indoors more. For the same reason hotels, hospitals and care homes are more prone to an outbreak.

    Hand gels are not effective against the virus, you need to wash it off your hands with soap and water. Chlorine based sanitiser is the only way to kill the virus, diluted household bleach for example.

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  • Posted

    Thank you Charlie. I just had a read through the article you linked. Good information to know. I think I am going to invest in one of the specialised handgels which kill the virus. Anything I can do to protect myself is a bonus. On the plus side I have read that in the UK about 600.000 to 1 million people are affected by this every year, which is about 2% of the population. These figures make feel a little bit calmer. When I said that people at work had it I was jumping to conclusions. A few people had a sick bug, which made them feel unwell for a day or two, but it wasn't Norovirus. In fact I should have know that, as they were far too chirpy to have had that!!! Thanks for all the information-gonna try and enjoy my life a bit now. :-)
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