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COVID-19 is not the only virus

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
"I know we're all vaccinated, and I'm not going to get Covid, but I'm going to get something."
(Jon Stewart - The Late Show, June 14)

While we've all been living our socially distanced lives, our immune systems haven't been getting their usual workouts. Regions that have lifted restrictions are seeing increases in cases of norovirus and other infections that we think of as "winter" illnesses.

What it means - Expect more outbreaks of "winter colds" and other bugs on the Camino this season. Keep your ears open for news of outbreaks and take the appropriate precautions to prevent infection. [In the case of norovirus, that means washing hands with soap and water, for example].

In the interest of "knowing your enemy," here's a Norovirus fact sheet from the CDC
 
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David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
I think you are right. Although double vaccinated I had to go for a PCR test this morning as I have a summer bug. Normally I would just live with it but in these times it seemed the responsible thing to do.
In the UK we usually have between 5,000 and 20,000 deaths from Flu - and Flu hasn't gone away - though with all this lockdown and mask wearing it had a very hard time infecting people over the last winter - almost no cases.

It is such a strange world now! - on a bookshop door -

207912639_5012019938825226_3694122674853597685_n.jpg
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
But don't worry that your immune system is "out of practice" after over a year of distancing.
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
While we've all been living our socially distanced lives, our immune systems haven't been getting their usual workouts. Regions that have lifted restrictions are seeing increases in cases of norovirus and other infections that we think of as "winter" illnesses.

What it means - Expect more outbreaks of "winter colds" and other bugs on the Camino this season. Keep your ears open for news of outbreaks and take the appropriate precautions to prevent infection. [In the case of norovirus, that means washing hands with soap and water, for example].

In the interest of "knowing your enemy," here's a Norovirus fact sheet from the CDC
Here in ANZ Influenza is a notifiable disease and there were zero cases of it reported last year, not just zero deaths, zero cases!

This year was looking good too ☺️ until we let those b***** Ozies in 😉 and now we have Influenza AND our kids are getting really sick with Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), with young kids in ICU 🙁.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I have always gone on pilgrimage in Spain in the fall, before the annual flu shot was available to me. After my first camino, I came home with some sort of virus. Symptoms resembled those of a common cold, but severe, and lasting several months. I concluded that whatever respiratory virus I had picked up, either just before leaving Spain or on the plane home, was one not in common circulation in Alberta, having its first go at me. I don't think that I passed it on to anyone else.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Use the masks! With the Delta virus around, using the masks will further protect you from other viruses as well as the latest variants. And stay out of common sleeping quarters where others might not use masks. There is ample research showing masks prevented a significant flu season in many countries.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
My understanding is that the Norovirus is quite common on the Camino, and similar that involve communal living etc. The Appalachian Trail is another where it is transmitted at the busier shelters and communal meals. Most people on the Camino who get it think they drank bad water. Nope. It was more than likely from the dirty hands of a fellow pilgrim at an albergue. None of us know the hygiene habits of our fellow pilgrims after they have a sit on the potty. Did they really wash their hands properly?
If I use the utensils and dishes at the albergues I always wash them with the hottest water possible before I use them, as well as after. No telling what is on them in that drawer or cupboard. Also (especially now) it is wise to carry hand sanitizer.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
My understanding is that the Norovirus is quite common on the Camino, and similar that involve communal living etc. The Appalachian Trail is another where it is transmitted at the busier shelters and communal meals. Most people on the Camino who get it think they drank bad water. Nope. It was more than likely from the dirty hands of a fellow pilgrim at an albergue. None of us know the hygiene habits of our fellow pilgrims after they have a sit on the potty. Did they really wash their hands properly?
If I use the utensils and dishes at the albergues I always wash them with the hottest water possible before I use them, as well as after. No telling what is on them in that drawer or cupboard. Also (especially now) it is wise to carry hand sanitizer.
All the more reason not to share common bunkrooms this year. Find a buddy who is vaccinated and share a private room.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
But don't worry that your immune system is "out of practice" after over a year of distancing.
Thanks for the article. One thing that this pandemic has taught me is that the immune system is more complicated than I ever imagined.

I should, perhaps, have avoided my “workout” metaphor and written only that some regions are experiencing outbreaks of illnesses that we normally associate with the colder months of the year.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
All the more reason not to share common bunkrooms this year. Find a buddy who is vaccinated and share a private room.
I was referring more to the other viruses, not the covid-19. The Norovirus has always been there and just a hazard of communal living. As far as finding buddies to bunk with on the Camino and crashing together in private accommodations, that may not be really practical all the time, lol. Not to mention expensive, and a lot of pilgrims like myself enjoy solo walking. It very may well go way beyond the budgets of many pilgrims. On prior Caminos I met pilgrims with daily budgets of around ten euros. The communal albergues, especially the donativos were their only option.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Use the masks! With the Delta virus around, using the masks will further protect you from other viruses as well as the latest variants. And stay out of common sleeping quarters where others might not use masks. There is ample research showing masks prevented a significant flu season in many countries.
Thanks. Depending on the virus, masks may help to a greater or lesser extent. In the case of norovirus, for example, viral particles on surfaces are a significant vector for infections.

I hope we can avoid this thread being derailed by a mask wearing debate.
 

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
Thanks. Depending on the virus, masks may help to a greater or lesser extent. In the case of norovirus, for example, viral particles on surfaces are a significant vector for infections.

I hope we can avoid this thread being derailed by a mask wearing debate.

Not going into a debate but the thing about masks is that they mainly protect others as airborne viruses can enter through the eyes. In the UK we are 'going open' on Monday as we have a very high vaccination program (though I think the plan is probably a gamble to go for herd immunity). I will still carry a mask with me and will wear it in enclosed spaces where there are other people.

I think that Raggy is correct - With the opening up our scientists say that they are expecting a flood of other virus infections such as the Norovirus, and even the Flu - both 'winter' complaints - (the Norovirus, although brief is rather horrid and as it involves diarrhoea certainly not a bug one wants on Camino! 😱).
 
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Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Dang viruses!
Well, yes. And where did they come from? And how did our immune system's ability to respond to them come about? Fascinating stuff that's beyond my ability to comprehend.

 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Travel318
I love the suggestion to remember to wash your hands, it was also part of protocol suggested for COVID, and equally important. I will still wear my mask in indoor situation in crowded places. But understand and respect that it’s people’s choice. Since I am vaccinated, my mental mantra is “trust the science”! Vaccines have kept me from catching numerous other ailments.
 

DreamHiker2

DreamHiker2
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Here in ANZ Influenza is a notifiable disease and there were zero cases of it reported last year, not just zero deaths, zero cases!

This year was looking good too ☺️ until we let those b***** Ozies in 😉 and now we have Influenza AND our kids are getting really sick with Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), with young kids in ICU 🙁.
I beg your pardon?????? We have managed to contain most of our covid really well until they started letting international flights in - JUST LIKE YOU - and the air crew and international passengers bought in the new variants - so get your facts right!!!!! You also seem to forget that most flights to NZ were filled with kiwis wanting to return home from Oz to see their families - so they are in fact Kiwis not aussies.
 

Sirage

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2005), Porto to Santiago (2007), Vezelay for 200 kms (2009), From Seville, May (2015), Le Puy to Sangüesa (2016), Norte-Primitivo (Sep-Oct 2016)
But understand and respect that it’s people’s choice.
Clearly a moral dilemma in full battle at the moment.

Except in those near-anarchic countries we limit people's choices in many aspects of life.
 
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Sixwheeler

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
I think you are right. Although double vaccinated I had to go for a PCR test this morning as I have a summer bug. Normally I would just live with it but in these times it seemed the responsible thing to do.
In the UK we usually have between 5,000 and 20,000 deaths from Flu - and Flu hasn't gone away - though with all this lockdown and mask wearing it had a very hard time infecting people over the last winter - almost no cases.

It is such a strange world now! - on a bookshop door -

View attachment 104981
Hope the negative test result is with you soon David, take care.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
I beg your pardon?????? We have managed to contain most of our covid really well until they started letting international flights in - JUST LIKE YOU - and the air crew and international passengers bought in the new variants - so get your facts right!!!!! You also seem to forget that most flights to NZ were filled with kiwis wanting to return home from Oz to see their families - so they are in fact Kiwis not aussies.
I think Doughnuts comment was made in jest - however our hospital ICU's are pushed beyond coping with babies suffering from RSV - our health officials state that because last year when in lockdown, we didn't come into contact with viruses our systems didn't learn to fight them off.
Interesting, how vulnerable we become when not exposed.
 

Bisnieta

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2021)
I think Doughnuts comment was made in jest - however our hospital ICU's are pushed beyond coping with babies suffering from RSV - our health officials state that because last year when in lockdown, we didn't come into contact with viruses our systems didn't learn to fight them off.
Interesting, how vulnerable we become when not exposed
It's not just NZ, the US is also seeing a dramatic surge in RCV among infants & children as well, and officials are citing the same reason, that social distancing over the last year meant people were not developing immunity.
For most people RCV is not life threatening but for infants it can be quite serious. A newborn in my extended family has (thankfully!) just recovered from a quite scary bout with RCV in Austin TX, and I've seen reports pediatric hospitals are getting slammed throughout Texas, the southern states & New York City at the moment. I suspect it will be an issue worldwide if it isn't already.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino Via Podiensis (2018)
I beg your pardon?????? We have managed to contain most of our covid really well until they started letting international flights in - JUST LIKE YOU - and the air crew and international passengers bought in the new variants - so get your facts right!!!!! You also seem to forget that most flights to NZ were filled with kiwis wanting to return home from Oz to see their families - so they are in fact Kiwis not aussies.
Doughnuts comment made me laugh😁 - just a bit of jest from across the 'ditch' !
 

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