Norovirus

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    I am a CNA right now in a nursing home and I feel like I have come down with this virus most likely from where I work. I have worked the night shift 3 times this week and had a real lack of sleep today (had 1 hour of sleep) before going to another job. I am up now at 4am sick to my stomach. It has been bothering me for at least 10 hours now and I threw up once. I also have a low grade fever of 99. I have not thrown up since I was in middle school, maybe earlier! (I'm 27). I read the norovirus can come on within 12 hours of exposure and last night I was involved in cleaning up after a patient for 35 mins bc there was SO much poop! I think the CNA before me didn't put the brief on right bc she was wearing a catheter. I also was involved in emptying a colostomy bag and the smell was quite extensive as she is a big lady.

    I wash my hands constantly and never touch my face! Is it possible to have gotten the virus from these exposures? If so how can it be avoided? I was very careful and had triple gloves. My hands never came into contact with it. I also though I read it does not travel through air. I am a new CNa and am going to be studying nursing. I don't want to be coming down with something every week I work. Any suggestions?
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  5. 0
    We can't give medical advice or guess at the cause of your unfortunate experience. It does sound as if you are taking all of the precautions necessary to avoid exposure. Just keep that up and never let yourself get cavalier about PPE.
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    Remember hand sanitizers are no good with Noro. Wash hands!

    There has been discussion of an airborne quality to Noro evolving - I believe this.

    Usually Noro is quite violent but short term. I have had it myself spent 5 hours on the toilet with a bucket as well (to barf in) - then fainted and to the ER for fluid resus. Nice.

    If you work with sick people, you will get sick. Not all the time if you are careful. Best thing you can do is what you are doing now PPE and washing. Here is the kicker, you probably have a better chance of picking up a virus while shopping at the grocery store - no PPE at the grocery store.
    VivaLasViejas and poppycat like this.
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    Thank you. It wasn't too bad, I am feeling better today already and it has been 24 hours. Just trying to figure out what I did wrong but I don't think I did. Even if I couldn't wash hands right away after I put hand sanitizer on. And never touched my face or anything until I was actually able to wash my hands. I really believe that it can be transmitted airborne!
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    Norovirurses and other gastroenteritis viral triggers are mostly spread by fecal/oral contact.

    HOWEVER, there is one exception. It turns out then when people vomit or stool, a very small amount of the virus particles are actually aerosolized, and anybody who is in close proximity can breathe in those virurses even though they didnt actually touch vomit or stool. How's that for a nice tasty visual the next time you smell someone else's vomit?
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    BTW, the worst thing about gastroenteritis isnt really the vomiting itself, it is the endless waves of nausea that precede the actual vomiting. the vomiting part actually makes you feel a lot better.

    The nausea, however, is terrible. I have literally felt like I was dying before. There's been times when I have that nausea that I will punch myself in the stomach or stick my finger in my throat to actually induce vomiting.
    psu_213 likes this.
  10. 1
    I believe it about aerosolizing, we had a 22 hour bus ride back from Florida with our HS marching band and by the end of the trip, nearly every kid on that bus was sick! Longest bus trip in history!
    aknottedyarn likes this.
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    Ugh I had the norovirus several years ago...got it from a pt. Lost about 10lbs in 3 days. It was awful and I got my boyfriend sick too. I felt so bad! I almost went to the hospital because I couldn't keep and liquid down for 3 days and wasn't urinating a whole lot :/.
    Last edit by limaRN on Mar 17, '13
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    Norovirus has been spreading in this area like wildfire. I had it two weeks ago and good lord I hope to never have it again. I woke up at 0400 and I had that nauseous feeling that I was going to be sick. Within 30 mins, I was. Thank God I had some Zofran laying around from a less horrendous GI bug I had in Nov. The first dose I took did nothing. I vomited 5 times within the next few hours. By the end, there was nothing left to come up. The dry heaves are the worst, very painful. I couldn't even keep ice chips down and was starting to get worried. Thankfully the second dose worked and I was able to keep down a small amount of flat ginger ale. My hubby brought home some strawberry popsicles and Gatorade, and I was able to keep those down too. The next day though all the muscles in my rib cage and stomach ached so bad from throwing up and I was so weak. It took a good few days for my stomach to finally feel settled. I had eaten kale the night before. Let's just say kale is not something you want to see again after your.meal. I haven't been able to look at kale since.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  13. 0
    Quote from sweetstrwbrry1
    I am a CNA right now in a nursing home and I feel like I have come down with this virus most likely from where I work. I have worked the night shift 3 times this week and had a real lack of sleep today (had 1 hour of sleep) before going to another job. I am up now at 4am sick to my stomach. It has been bothering me for at least 10 hours now and I threw up once. I also have a low grade fever of 99. I have not thrown up since I was in middle school, maybe earlier! (I'm 27). I read the norovirus can come on within 12 hours of exposure and last night I was involved in cleaning up after a patient for 35 mins bc there was SO much poop! I think the CNA before me didn't put the brief on right bc she was wearing a catheter. I also was involved in emptying a colostomy bag and the smell was quite extensive as she is a big lady.

    I wash my hands constantly and never touch my face! Is it possible to have gotten the virus from these exposures? If so how can it be avoided? I was very careful and had triple gloves. My hands never came into contact with it. I also though I read it does not travel through air. I am a new CNa and am going to be studying nursing. I don't want to be coming down with something every week I work. Any suggestions?
    FIRST......The smell has everything to do with the placement of the colostomy in the GI track/intestines and NOTHING whatsoever to do with the patients physical size.

    SECOND.....The norovirus is not air borne unless it is being thrown by a patient.

    THIRD....As per the Terms of Service.....We cannot offer medical advice but here is some general information about Norovirus.


    Norovirus is not only in the hospital it is in the general public. Entire cruise ships have been quarantined. It can be anywhere...on the counter at the bank....on the shopping cart at the grocery store....they money you use....the pump and counter at the has station.

    Alcohol sanitizers are not effective against the virus. Hand washing is the best preventative but that means everywhere you go wash your hands.

    Here is a great resource from the Mayo Clinic....Norovirus infection - MayoClinic.com


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