Kirsten’s Norovirus Nightmare – NoroCORE Food Virology

Kirsten’s Norovirus Nightmare

Our second contest entry comes from Kirsten, who got to experience a scarier side of norovirus with her young child, then became sick herself, all at New Years! She and her husband earn the rank of Super Parent in our book!


Kristen Larson

Name: Kirsten Larson


Please describe a time you believe you had norovirus:

On the evening of December 31st 2008, my husband and I had just put our 23 month old son to bed, and were settling down to enjoy a nice, quiet evening of Champagne and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Around 10 p.m., we heard Aaron fussing in his crib. I went up to check on him and while attempting to comfort him, he promptly threw up all over my back. My husband and I spent the rest of the night alternating holding Aaron and cleaning up vomit. It’s awfully hard to get a toddler over the toilet with little to no forewarning. He was vomiting every 30 minutes or so and by morning all of us were exhausted. By mid-morning, Aaron was a listless rag doll. A call to his pediatrician resulted in a quick trip to the ER where Aaron immediately received IV fluids to rehydrate him. He didn’t even flinch when the ER staff inserted the IV needle. Due to severe dehydration, Aaron was subsequently hospitalized for additional fluids and monitoring. Before my son was discharged the following day, my husband and I were already symptomatic and vying for space in the bathroom in my son’s hospital room. Happy New Year!



Do you have a theory as to how you were infected?

My son attended daycare so he likely acquired norovirus there. No matter how good your infection control practices, good luck avoiding norovirus when your toddler is barfing all over you.


What did you do to treat yourself?

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get fluids into Aaron fast enough at the rate he was vomiting, but my husband and I recovered with plenty of fluids, rest and lots of hand-washing!! And staying home from work and daycare so we didn’t infect others!


Did anyone else around you get sick?

Not that I’m aware of, but I feel bad for the hospital staff who had to clean my son’s hospital room and bathroom!


Thank you Kirsten, and for showing us Aaron more grown up. (On the left, with some of this year’s NoroCORE IAFP swag too!) Cute kids :-).



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