Norovirus Outbreak- What You Need to Know

What is it?

  • Virus that causes acute gastroenteritis in humans.

How would I get Infected?

  • You ingest (swallow) the virus by viral particles from feces or vomit entering your mouth. The virus incubates for 24-48 hours after ingestion, depending partially on how many viral particles you ingest. Noroviruses are particularly contagious because it only takes a few of them to make you sick.
  • Once the virus has been ingested and is incubating, it is possible to shed it through stool, without yet showing symptoms. This is one reason why the virus is so highly contagious – people don’t know they have it, yet they spread it to others through poor hygiene (not washing their hands after defecating, then touching others or touching surfaces).
  • People are contagious for at least 24 hours after the symptoms disappear. There have been virus particles found in the stool samples of people who have been infected some time after this as well, however it is not known whether enough viral particles are secreted in order to infect someone else. (There are too many variables at this point: strength of the virus, number of particles, and strength of others’ immune systems.)
  • The person who had the virus becomes immune to this year’s particular strain and secretes antibodies with the virus so it isn’t contagious anymore to him, even though it is highly contagious to others.

 This could mean that if your spouse had the virus in October but you didn’t, in January he could bring it home and give it to you without ever being sick himself.

Now that I know what it is, and how I catch it, how do I protect myself:

Wash your hands properly whenever you can.

Do Hand Sanitizers work?

Study after study has shown that none of these  alcohol-based gels or wipes do not kill Norovirus. Anything marked “antibacterial” but not “antiviral” may not necessarily kill viruses of any kind.

So if alcohol-based gels and wipes don’t kill Norovirus, what does?

Benzethonium Chloride, at a minimum of 0.013% concentration, is effective against Norovirus. Benzethonium Chloride is an active ingredient in HEXISTAT, however  HEXISTAT contains a higher concentration of  Benzethonium Chloride ( 0.235%)  because it is designed to kill many other bacterias along with the Norovirus. In other words, Hexistat works overtime to protect you from these sudden “outbreaks” and exposure to contagious microorganisms.

Here is a link to recent story that was published on this outbreak: