Norovirus Outbreak Spares Alaskans Thus Far
ANCHORAGE - Health officials nationwide have reported outbreaks of a strain of norovirus called the "Sydney" virus. Luckily for Alaskans, they've been mostly spared from the gastro-intestinal irritation that can cause a bout of vomiting and diarrhea.
Nationwide, the virus kills about 1,000 Americans every year. The most vunerable are the elderly, and those in elder care homes are where the disease tends to spread more quickly.
Unlike the flu or some other viruses, norovirus can last much longer outside the body. Doctor Michael Cooper, program manager for Alaska Infectious Disease Control, emphasized the importance of hygiene. "They can live on those for days or even weeks, and other people can touch those and get exposed to them. They can get into food. They can get into water. So it's a very hard bug once somebody is sick and transmitting it to stop that transmission," he said.
He also says once you catch it, there isn't much you can do, but keeping healthy and hydrated can help people to recover more quickly.