Well I am back blogging, refreshed after nice holiday break spent at home. We had both daughters and their significant others with us and since this happens so rarely now that they are grown and have their own lives and careers, I took advantage of the opportunity to just hang out with them.
The post-Christmas period after most of them had left was interrupted by an outbreak of a virus that laid everyone low. It was likely the norovirus, which is very contagious and its symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps, low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, fatigue) can be quite severe.
About twenty of us attended a post-Christmas party and all but three people came down with it up to three days later, even after some had left town soon after. According to the CDC “Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes about 21 million illnesses and contributes to about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths. Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States.”
I was surprised that I had not heard about this virus before, given that it has been around for a long time and is so common and global.
The bad news is that that there is no treatment or vaccine for it and one does not develop any immunity after getting it, so you can get it again and again. The good news is that it goes away by itself in a day or two and that one recovers as long as one stays well hydrated, though of course extra precautions should be taken with very young children and those who suffer from other serious ailments.