Retirement homes and hospitals have a lot of trouble with norovirus. If an ill resident, patient or staff member sheds the virus through vomit or poop in a public area a lot of folks can get sick.
According to KDRV ABC Channel 12, The V.A. hospital in White City Oregon is dealing with its own norovirus outbreak with over 125 veterans and 25 staff ill.
“This is very contact oriented, it’s not airborne, it’s by touch,” said V.A. Infection Preventionist Sue Thurston.
Thurston said about 470 vets live at the V.A, and more than a quarter of them are sick.
Veterans are being asked to not leave their rooms until they feel better and bag meals are dropped off at their rooms.
“We’re wiping down everything you can touch – all the side rails, all the doorknobs, all the vending machines, all the rooms, all the surfaces, every single flat surface is being wiped down and disinfected,” said Thurston (I wonder what sanitizer they are using and wiping may just be spreading virus particles around -ben).
Although the virus isn’t respiratory, epidemiological investigations of past outbreaks suggest that virus particles can be aerosolized through vomit events. At IAFP 2013, North Carolina State University graduate student Grace Tung showed a simulated vomit event would yield a spread of droplets 8-12 ft.; the greatest distance traveled in any one experiment was 14.5 ft.