The Doctors: Norovirus Outbreak
In addition to the worst flu epidemic in years, Americans have been dealing with the norovirus outbreak. There is no vaccine for this “super bug” that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea. The Doctors investigated an interesting new technology that could help us better understand the norovirus, as well as ways to protect ourselves from getting sick.
Researchers in England have developed a “regurgitating robot,” which sounds gross, but could provide important insight into the norovirus. When the robot vomits on demand, scientists learn more about how the virus spreads.
The Doctors: Norovirus Fact Or Fiction
While it’s impossible to stop this powerful virus from spreading, there are ways you can protect yourself and your family. First and foremost, it’s important to be educated. The Doctors played a game of fact or fiction with their audience, and here’s what we learned:
- Norovirus is the medical term for the stomach flu.
- Fiction. Norovirus is a type of gastroenteritis. There’s really no such thing as “the stomach flu,” because the flu is a respiratory illness.
- You can catch the norovirus from touching a doorknob.
- Unfortunately, that’s a fact. The norovirus can live outside the human body and exist pretty much anywhere, even clothing.
- You can catch the norovirus by sharing a meal.
- Fact. Researchers at Ohio State University found that the virus stuck to plates even after they had been washed. Gross!
The Drs: How To Prevent Spread Of Norovirus
Additionally, here are The Doctors‘ top tips for preventing the spread of the norovirus.
- Wash your hands for 30 seconds. Hand sanitizer has not been shown to have any effect on the norovirus, so you must rely on good old fashioned soap and water.
- Clean infected surfaces thoroughly with bleach.
- Wash infected clothes separately. If you have clothes that you or someone else has vomited on, don’t wash them with the rest of your clothes. Use extra hot water.
- Don’t handle food or cook when sick.