In this week’s Travel with Val, NY1’s Valarie D'Elia taks about ways to beat the odds of catching the much-publicized stomach bug while on vacation.
The recent strain of norovirus is so tough, it is forcing a 145-year-old New York state resort to close its doors for an entire week to sanitize.
The venerable Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York, is suspected to have fallen victim to a similar virus that infected two cruise ships earlier this year.
“Especially now during the winter time we have more people confined to places where they normally would be confined,” said Dr. Alexander Lupenko, medical director of Passport Health. “One person typically may go on to infect on an average of 14 others.”
The unprecedented move to close Mohonk for a deep clean is a responsible one, but with questionable effectiveness.
“Even with the best efforts there can be surfaces that can be missed,” said Dr. Lupenko.
This bug is one tough customer.
“It can persist on surfaces in food, on clothing, for days to weeks or even months,” said Dr. Lupenko.
How can you protect yourself from this miserable travel companion? Washing your hands with soap and water frequently, staying hydrated and eating a healthy diet is key. As well as sanitizing surroundings.
“Wash the surfaces, the handknobs, switches on the doors, handles to cabinets, most things that are likely, TV sets, remote controls,” said Dr. Lupenko.
If you succumb to the bug, you might feel like you're going to die, but very few do.
If you manage to stay healthy, keep your distance from those less fortunate.
“Vomit is a very transmissible, a highly transmissible form of exposure,” said Dr. Lupenko.
When you're better, your immunity might only last a few weeks and even after symptoms are gone, you can still be shedding the virus.