I don’t think that was mud

News comes to us out of Michigan where a whole bunch of participants in the Tough Mudder race at the Michigan International Speedway came down with a gastrointestinal infection due to norovirus. According to The Detroit News:

“A handful of participants in the 12-mile obstacle course told The Detroit News they fell ill the day after the race. Brooke Schmitz, 40, of Holland, Ohio, said she suffered “violent vomiting” after the illness hit about 24 hours after Sunday’s event. The races Saturday and Sunday drew about 16,000 people total. During the Tough Mudder, racers have to jump into several pools of water, run through live wires, climb over barriers and carry logs, among other obstacles. “It was worse than the event,” Schmitz said of her illness.”

I bet it was worse. If you’ve ever had norovirus, or, as some call it, “the stomach flu,” you remember it. It is this uncontrollable feeling that the apocalypse has come to your loins. It’s like you’ve been poisoned with the most vile chemical that is making your cells slough off from your intestinal tract, mixing them with the devil’s own bile, and shooting everything out both ways.

Both. Ways.

Anyway, one big tip for anyone dealing with this is to stay home and keep others safe. You only need 10 to 100 viruses of norovirus to be infected, so, if you’re sick, keep those ten viruses to yourself and stay home until you feel better. Don’t go vomiting and/or pooping some place where others will come in contact with your “material,” as gross as that sounds.

If you don’t want to catch norovirus, wash your hands, avoid raw or undercooked foods, and stay away from sick people. Getting norovirus once doesn’t make you immune against it, and there are several strains circulating. Finally, hand sanitizers don’t cut it against norovirus, not because they don’t kill the virus, but because you need to leave it on for a while for it to kill the virus.

“”I would hate for this to become a stain on Tough Mudder,” Shumaker said.”

A big, brown stain.

[do action=”credit”]Featured image credit: bayat / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA[/do]

I'm a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Doctor of Public Health program at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. All opinions posted here are my own, of course, and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my school, employers, friends, family, etc. Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @EpiRen