Norwalk Virus – Two words that no traveler wants to hear. The virus is characterized by “nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. General lethargy, weakness, muscle aches, headache, and low-grade fever may occur. Symptoms may persist for several days and may become life-threatening in the young, the elderly, and the immune-compromised if dehydration is ignored or not treated.”
The most common outbreaks of Norwalk Virus have been reported on Cruise ships in recent years, but several reports on our discusion boards (DISBoards.com), seem to indicate that an outbreak might be happening at Walt Disney World. (CLICK Here for more info)
DISBoards.com visitor ‘EpcotBeauty’ posted “It took my family out one by one during our 8 night stay. It came on viciously and violently. It started out with nausea and then forceful vomiting and diarrhea for about 8 hours. It was so bad that all of us had accidents and could not make it to the bathroom (to vomit) at least a few times. The staff at the YC (Yacht Club) and BC (Beach Club) were wonderful and told us that they and SSR (Saratoga Springs Resort) had been hit the hardest. There were literally guests puking outside of the resort, in the food courts and bathrooms!”
Several other site visitors are reporting that while they were on vacation, or shortly after arriving home, they became ill with symptoms similar to those attributed to Norwalk.
There have not been any official reports to confirm a Norwalk outbreak as of yet, but anyone traveling in the next few weeks is advised to take some simple precautions to help avoid catching the virus.
The Center for Disease Control recommends the following:
- Frequently wash your hands, especially after toilet visits and changing diapers and before eating or preparing food.
- Carefully wash fruits and vegetables, and steam oysters before eating them.
- Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of illness by using a bleach-based household cleaner.
- Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with virus after an episode of illness (use hot water and soap).