Here is what I have done (I wasn't as sick as kiddos either):
• wiped all doorknobs, door frames and entire bathrooms down with straight vinegar
• laundered linens in hot water with vinegar rinse (temps over 158 degrees for 5 min will effectively kill noroviruses or 210 degrees for 1 min)
• running the bath toys through the dishwasher (if I still had a kiddo who mouthed lots of toys, I would probably run lots of the other plastic ones through, too. Actually, I might do that anyway.)
• regular deep cleaning stuff -- mopping the floors, wiping down the kitchen, etc
• be even more careful with safe food handling practices (washing hands and all hard surfaces before and after food prep), changing dish cloths several times a day, etc.
It likely is a norovirus
, which means those infected are still shedding the virus for anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks (per CDC). FWIW, this is probably the same virus that is going around the county
). Noroviruses are extremely contagious.
The CDC recommends disinfecting with bleach (even though I am not). Here is a community health handout
about the dilutions of bleach to use, if you go that route. If you use bleach solutions, don't spray and then wipe (one
of tons of citations); mix a fresh batch for each application and apply with a rag. Leave on for 10-20 minutes and then rinse with water.
However, noroviruses can handle fairly high concentrations of chlorine, and I am not really sure the trade offs are worth it since the kiddos are just going to keep shedding the virus. Hospitals also use a form of hydrogen peroxide to disinfect from noroviruses.
On hard surfaces, the virus lasts 12 hours; it has been found to live for 12 days on carpet
. Looks like steam cleaning would be the only way to get rid of it, if that was the goal.
Transmission rates -- even with hypervigilant safety measures -- have been documented at 2.1 per infected person. Among youth without those measures, one infected person can/does infect 14 others. Here is one recent peer reviewed study
of the effectiveness of enhanced hygiene to control a norovirus outbreak. Spoiler: it helps, but not enough to end the outbreak.
At least it is short lived! And, from what I understand, reinfection is rare. Immunity to that strain lasts at least several months.
For me, I guess it came down to this: I will continue to clean/deep clean and will even do so a bit more deeply than normal, but everyone infected is going to keep shedding the virus for days. Everyone in our house has already been infected, and we likely won't re-infect ourselves. Our goal at this point is to not infect anyone else, which deep cleaning while still shedding isn't going to really help.