Thursday, December 11, 2008

Word to the Wise

OK, so someone in the unwashed masses at the Troy Victorian Stroll gave us both the "stomach flu". Be aware that it's going around, and if you get it, it'll probably take you out for a good 4 days.

Although I can't be certain, I suspect we may have been the victims of the norovirus. In any event, I googled some depressing facts (I was trained as an engineer, so obviously this isn't medical advice - this list came mostly from the above link, as well as the CDC and the NYCDOHMH):
  • It takes a good 20 seconds of vigorous handwashing to get rid of norovirus.
  • Over-the-counter hand sanitizers are mostly ineffective against it.
  • Chlorine will kill it in a strong concentration (not diluted in a swimming pool or tap water).
  • It survives freezing, and heating up to 140 degrees (water this hot burns within seconds).
The good news is that a company called LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals has a vaccine in human trials. I sure hope it gets FDA approval!