Norovirus from Australia Spreading Fast in U.S.

This cluster is enough norovirus to infect. CDC photo.The CDC reports a strain of Norovirus - a nasty stomach and intestinal virus there is currently no vaccine for - has flipped sides of the world, going from Australia to the United States. First discovered March, 2012, in Australia, this strain is highly contagious and in December accounted for 58 percent of the norovirus cases diagnosed. Named GII.4 Sydney, the virus causes vomiting, stomach cramping and diarrhea for one or two days before improvement and can be very serious in the elderly and young. Dehydration can occur rapidly.

Unlike the flu, or influenza, which is a respiratory illness, norovirus is a gastrointestinal infection. A very small amount of the virus entering the body can cause infection.

You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. Because it is so contagious, a program of controlling touchpoints and common-use areas such as countertops, desktops and handles is recommended. Daily desktop disinfection has been proven to reduce norovirus by 29% by Boston Children's Hospital.

Critical Care, an Envirox product, kills norovirus. Although a protocol for EPA testing for on-going effectiveness against viruses has not been designed, Critical Care does have 24-hour EPA-registered residual effect against three bacteria types. Clorox Commercial Solutions Germicidal Wipes have a time-of-service EPA registration against norovirus. They work in just 30 seconds.

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