Some stealthy internet research (done while in bed at the hotel suffering a sore throat / fever…just when I thought I had recovered) has led me to a diagnosis for those of us aboard the Empire Builder who fell ill on our journey. Norovirus, also known as Norwalk-agent.
Here’s a few fast facts about norovirus:
-The virus is most commonly spread in closed or semi-closed communities, such as nursing homes, prisons, overnight camps, cruise ships, and apparently, Amtrak trains.
-It is spread through fecal contamination of food, water, or people. Ewww.
-The virus is named for the community of Norwalk, Ohio, where it first emerged among a group of schoolchildren in 1968.
-Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, tiredness, aching joints, headache, fever, and sore throat.
-It is rarely severe, but is highly contagious.
-Strains of the virus exist with such colorful names as Hawaii virus, Snow Mountain virus, Desert Shield virus, Lordsdale virus.