Showing posts from March 4, 2012

Spreading disease with the greatest of ease

Interesting that my post about hand washing some time ago is so popular. Interesting too that in Sydney Morning Herald  of March 7 there is an article about how nearly 20 per cent of our hospitals fail to meet the simple hygiene standard of good hand washing!! And last week my partner who runs a travel agency sent me an email about Norovirus, which is the virus most responsible for outbreaks - and how it can decimate an airliner or a cruise ship!! No-one is going to do a survey on dancers but it seems timely to remind everyone that washing hands is really easy. Norovirus (formerly Norwalk agent) is an RNA virus (taxonomic family Caliciviridae).
It is the most infectious microbe known. (It takes as few as 18 virus particles to infect a person via food, water or dirty hands.) Typically, symptoms begin with sudden vomiting, abdominal cramps, nausea and watery diarrhoea, although for a lucky few, symptoms can be mild or non-existent. Symptoms usually last 24-72 hours. Dehydration is th