Nobody wants to suffer the indignities of the norovirus. As winter continues to just sort of ruin everyone's lives with the snow and the cold and the long, grey days, norovirus has been the crappy icing on top of the terrible cake. It's an awful stomach bug that's highly contagious, without a vaccine, and difficult to avoid. But there is a little, tiny bit of good news; one hand sanitizer kills norovirus, and here's where you can get it.
The general school of thought appears to be that washing your hands with good old soap and water is still the best way to avoid contracting the norovirus. Unfortunately, if you happen to have many sets of little hands around who love to touch everything, keeping their hands clean enough can be a struggle. Which is why places like day care centers and elementary schools have managed to become a breeding ground for a potential norovirus outbreaks; the virus loves well-populated areas that are also closed in. When you consider how highly contagious the virus is (it can be passed by touching contaminated food, water, or even contaminated surfaces that have not been properly cleaned), and how difficult it can be to locate a sink with hot water and soap and a public place, finding a good hand sanitizer is the way to go.
Most hand sanitizers have proven ineffective against the norovirus, particularly sanitizers that have a high rate of alcohol concentration. The issue is that traditional anti-bacterial hand sanitizers work well to combat other viruses that are "enveloped," and the effective agents can pierce the envelope to attack the virus. The norovirus is a "non-enveloped" illness, which is why most hand sanitizers won't work. The trick to finding an effective hand sanitizer is to find one containing the anti-microbial Benzethonium Chloride, an agent that has a 99.3 percent success rate against norovirus surrogates like Feline Calicivirus. Zylast Antiseptic Lotion contains Benzethonium Chloride, and can be ordered directly here.
Unfortunately, it has been difficult to cultivate the human norovirus in a lab for testing, so surrogates have been used. Benzethonium Chloride has been found to create a bacterial resistance against norovirus. Another hand sanitizer with anti-microbial agents that contributes to killing norovirus is the Clorox bleach-free hand sanitizer, which can be ordered through Amazon.
Finally, Germstar Noro has become the number one choice to combat norovirus on cruise ships.
It also promises to soften your hands whilst protecting you from the nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, muscle aches, and exhaustion commonly associated with norovirus. So that's a nice little bonus, right?
Winter is going to end some day, and with it we'll see the back end of the norovirus. So just try to keep your hands clean, eat foods that are cooked properly, and keep your work surfaces disinfected with bleach if you've got it. Because believe me, the last thing you want is the winter vomiting flu.