Viruses can spread surprisingly quickly through buildings

September 9, 2014 10:06 AM

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Viruses can spread surprisingly quickly through buildings

Noroviruses, the most common cause of "stomach flu" or gastroenteritis, can spread rapidly and are responsible for numerous closures of schools, office buildings, nursing homes and other busy facilities. Contaminated surfaces, on which they can exist for days, are thought to be important in the spread of noroviruses; a common way to become infected is to touch a contaminated surface and then touch your mouth.

For their study, the researchers dabbed samples of a tracer virus - used as a surrogate for human norovirus - onto one or two frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as a table top or door knob, in office conference rooms and a health care facility.

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