New Winter Olympic Event: Vomit Relay

A norovirus outbreak has hit the Winter Olympics being held in PyeongChang, South Korea. Dozens of security guards have been overcome by “a sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhea.

In response, South Korea pulled 1,200 security guards from duty in case they had been exposed to the virus and replaced them with 900 military personnel. According to CNN, organizers have said that all accommodations and buses were being disinfected.

Norovirus is pretty gross, and we usually hear about it happening on cruise ships, and other crowded and enclosed areas. It’s extremely contagious and is spread via contact with contaminated surfaces or people who already have the virus. According to the CDC:

Norovirus can be found in your stool (feces) even before you start feeling sick. The virus can stay in your stool for 2 weeks or more after you feel better…You can become infected with norovirus by accidentally getting stool or vomit from infected people in your mouth. 

Sounds fun, right? As always, frequent and perhaps compulsive hand-washing is recommended, (though obviously not everyone is following this suggestion, because think of all those people going to the bathroom, not washing their hands, and then running their fecal covered hands over public surfaces) along with these other suggestions.


If there’s one thing I love it’s the word vomit. A useful word to describe dislike or disgust with something, I try to incorporate this word into daily use.  You can imagine my delight/trepidation when seeing the following headline:

Winter vomiting alert: New strain of norovirus on the rise!

Even better is the graphic CBS News uses to illustrate this really fun virus:

wow hurl

This awesome vomit virus (officially named GII.4 Sydney) originated in Australia and has been spreading fast.  If you couldn’t tell from the picture it has a reputation for inducing projectile vomiting in affected people. The CDC says this strain has caused outbreaks in multiple countries and is responsible for over 140 outbreaks in the US.

I don’t know about you, but as a self proclaimed hypochondriac, I certainly feel vaguely nauseous just reading these articles.  I also ride public transportation frequently and touch probably hundreds of shared surfaces throughout the day so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that this hurling virus is lurking inside me waiting to erupt.

Stay disinfected everyone!

-The sometimes updated PlagueGirl

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CDC Notes From the (Vomit) Field