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Friday, November 22, 2013

#FF - Micro Blog's Viral Misfortunes

There are times when the best laid plans go to awry. In keeping on my viral theme for the month I had planned to talk about a Norovirus outbreak in a pediatric unit that was caused by healthcare workers.  I know I read the study, but my recall abilities seem to have gone into early hibernation.  Was it late spring, summer or early fall?  I know I was on a plane.....  Regardless, it was a great example of "inconvenience and irritation" from last week's blog "The Burden of You and the Flu". 

It was also the first time that Google let me down...at least in finding the study I was looking for.  My Google search however, did pop up the Micro Blog which is written by Jon Otter (@jonotter) and Saber Yezli from the UK.  If you're a Infection Prevention nut like me, follow it.  Touted as "Your window to the world of healthcare microbiology and epidemiology" -  Otter and Yezli post some great blogs. 

It was the "Domestic Outbreak of Gastroenteritis" that had me chuckling, not at Otter's misfortunes mind you, but because almost a year ago last night, I lived through the same thing.  Here's the summary of Otter's outbreak:

"Last Wednesday (let’s call it outbreak day 1), our 18-month old toddler “sprayed” projective vomit around our porch. My wife cleaned up the mess. On outbreak day 3, 36 hours later, my wife presented (grumpily) with acute gastroenteritis. We made every effort to limit domestic horizontal transmission (including regular bleach disinfection of contact surfaces in the bathroom and cohorting of personal effects) but to no avail; a little over 24 hours later on outbreak day 4, I endured acute gastroenteritis."

In the 2012 Kenny Outbreak, our then 3.5yr old projectile vomited over his bed, the carpet in his room and ME in the wee hours of a Friday.  By Sunday, both my husband and I were inflicted with the same thing (thankfully we have 3 bathrooms).  Our cohorting consisted of taking turns in parental duty by lying on the couch in the family room to ensure Sawyer was somewhat safe or sprawling on our bed.  I have never been so happy for the invention of TV, DVDs and pre-packaged food!

The truth is, Norovirus happens.  It is irritating.  It is an impediment and it is certainly an inconvenience!  It happens everywhere and especially when you least expect it!   As Otter detailed in an earlier blog about a Norovirus outbreak that was associated with a Car Dealership where the generous mother left the mess for the staff to clean up using nothing more than dry paper towels, you just never know when or how you may pick up your next gastro bug!  I need to get my car in for servicing...I can assure you I will never use a car dealership's washroom again!

Bugging Off!                                                        


PS - after using a "Life Line" and emailing a friend I now have the  title of the study I was looking for in the first place, An Outbreak of Norovirus Infection in a Bone Transplant Unit.  Better late than never I suppose - I hope you take the time to read it!


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