Attach of the NoroVirus!

Pardon me in my absence!
fyi ~ this post contains some TMI :)

I went home to Roanoke for the Easter weekend and got to spend some quality bonding time with my mom and dad.  I came back to NoVa on Monday all ready to head back to work on Tuesday.  However, I woke up in the middle of the night, around 12:30am, feeling really uncomfortable.  I hadn't shaved my legs in about a week and actually considered taking a shower and shaving.  That's how off-kilter I felt.  After a few runs to the bathroom with vomiting and diarrhea, probably the worst I have ever had in my life, I was able to fall back asleep. I woke up at 5am to experience it all over again; and then again at 8am.  

I didn't have a doctor up here, so I went online to my insurance provider's website to look for one (this isn't fun at 8am when you feel like unbelievable crap!).  I found a doctor in Alexandria and made an appointment.  For the next 6 hours I just laid in bed sleeping on and off.  I tried eating a bowl of cereal and a banana and drinking water.  My body ached all over, so I pulled my yoga mat out and tried to stretch.  I went into the doctor at 3:15pm and after waiting for 45 minutes in the waiting room I was able to get a diagnosis. I had....

The NoroVirus!

If you are not familiar with the Norovirus, get familiar!  It's going around A LOT.  The doctor told me she had seen at least 4 other people the same day with the same symptoms.

Symptoms Include
~I had all of these~
A rapid onset of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and occasionally stomach cramping (all symptoms of gastroenteritis).
In addition, the person may feel tired, have muscle aches, headache, and a low-grade fever, lower than 100F (I had a fever of 100.5) with chills.
The sypmtoms last one to two days.
Although no long-term problems persist or develop with this viral infection, dehydration (loss of body water) may be significant enough to require medical treatment.
(information found here)

Prevention of Norovirus Infection
~taken straight from the website~
The key to prevention is to not physically contact (ingest) any norovirus.  In many situations, this may not be possible, but individuals can decrease the chance of contact by several methods.  The best method is frequent had washing and excellent hygiene, although hand sanitizers and washing are not absolutely effective.  Wash fruits and vegetables, and drink only fluids from noncontaminated sources (chemically treated, appropriately bottles, or boiled fluids).  Avoid contact with any vomit or feces from ill individuals; discard the material in a toilet and clean any clothing and areas that may have come in contact with the material.  Hot water and soap can help clean cloths.  Because the norovirus has been reported to survive on surfaces up to four weeks at room temperature, disinfection is recommended with commercial products or a solution of 1/2 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water.  Norovirus is killed at temperatures above 140 F, so steaming or boiling (usual minimal time is one minute) can kill the virus.
Because of the potentially long (about two to four weeks) environmental survival of the virus at room temperature, often an area in which an outbreak occurs will need to be disinfected.  Repopulating an area with uninfected people without disinfecting the area may produce another outbreak.  Consequently, areas (for example, dorms, barracks, cafeterias, offices, schools, cruise ships) should be disinfected after a norovirus outbreak to prevent further infections.

I just want to help make aware those that are not.  It's not fun!  It if very flu like, so please be careful.  Wash your hands  A LOT and disinfect everything!  Especially your work place.  If you share phones, computers, even door knobs, wipe it all down!!!!

Be safe, be clean, and be healthy!