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I seem to remember this happening before… was it rowers in Rio scooping up something nasty from polluted waters, plus stomach upsets amongst others being bandied around as ‘leaky gut’ rather than something more serious? It all seems so long ago…
The Winter Olympics are about to begin in South Korea and as I write some 90 people have been struck down with Norovirus, the ‘Winter vomiting bug’ which spreads like wildfire. As far as I’m aware, none of the athletes have so far succumbed, although more than 30 security officers and three food preparation staff are confirmed to be suffering – and if those who are handling food haven’t been fastidious about hygiene, all hell could well break loose very soon!
Norovirus lives in faeces and vomit where it can remain active for more than two weeks after someone’s infected and before they’ve suffered any symptoms. Most people will become infected when consuming contaminated food and drink, or touching contaminated surfaces or people. The best way to keep things under control is for people to wash their hands properly – particularly after using the toilet – and to stay away from others if infected. Cleaning regimes have to be at their very best too and it's times like this that people really appreciate the good work that decent cleaners do.
A disinfection and hand sanitisation programme is underway according to Games’ officials, with ‘stringent’ measures’ in place with regard to catering – which, amongst other things, involves food servers wearing masks. Accommodation for 1,200 staff has been quarantined to stop the virus spreading.
I hope that for everyone’s sakes what’s being done will be enough to contain this horrible virus. Whether you’re interested in sport or not, those who are competing have ‘jumped through hoops’ to be there and it would be a shame for them to miss out on their moment of glory through illness.
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8th February 2018