Reprinted from the Seattle Daily Examiner:
Seattle Hospitals in virus alert to visitors Oct 6 2003
By Jane Yelland, The Seattle Daily Examiner
RELATIVES and friends of patients in Seattle hospitals are urged to stay away if they themselves are unwell.
Hospital chiefs want to avoid a repeat of the problems when Seattle Central Infirmary was hit by a virus.
The Norwalk virus causes sickness and diarrhoea and has a major impact on hospital life.
Wards had to be closed and operations cancelled.
The Infirmary has been hit in the past by the bug.
Dr Howard Barnes, consultant in public health medicine for the Calderdale and Kirklees Health Protection Agency, said: "There is a great misconception that Norwalk (also called Norovirus) is hospital-acquired. But most often it is brought in by somebody.
"Although the Norwalk virus is relatively mild and symptoms short-lived, it can have a huge impact on hospital activities. That is why we want to reduce the risk as much as possible."
Dr Barnes added: "Large outbreaks can lead to ward and even hospital closure.
To elucidate the mechanism by which the PPA droplets coat the die wall, a test was conducted in which a die (180° - entrance steel-made slit or round-hole) was ‘reversed’ (turned upside down) at the time when (17 ± 2) % of sharkskin was eliminated (at t = 3.2 min, Figure 5a). Upon continuation of the blend extrusion, the sharkskin disappeared instantaneously and completely.When running the experiment in the ‘normal’ mode (Figure 5b), sharkskin disappears slowly (even though the pressure drops significantly), then the process accelerates, after which it slows down again, with (19 ± 2) % of sharkskin still remaining after 6 min of extrusion. Based on these two experiments, we suggest that during the blend extrusion, the PPA droplets first adsorb at the die entrance (which may explain the reduced pressure), the process of which may be greatly influenced by die entrance geometry  and blend viscoelasticity. After that, the droplets migrate toward the die exit under the influence of the shear field.
"It may mean that patients who were due to be discharged become too ill to be moved, those awaiting operations have treatment delayed and wards are closed to new admissions."
Norwalk can be spread in several ways, including in food and water, vomit, faeces and person-to-person.
The quarantine continues in Seattle today as many people have been required to change their plans. To make things worse, the weather has gotten so bad that no planes are landing in or out of the entire West Coast.
One quarantine worker in the Seattle residential southern area commented, "This is like unbelieveable! I'm flabbergasted! I am dumbstruck! I can't react because, frankly, I'm completely baffled! I'm without a clue! This one has me quizzed! Confusion is an understatement for me! Leave it to me not to be able to figure this one out! I'm lost! I'm in a haze that's like a daze! Woo hoo!!
Jennifer Renz, a former Philadelphia resident, is staying indoors and commented to our reporter on the phone, "My friend Helen was supposed to come see me but now I am all alone. What a bummer!"
Breaking news email from CNN: Steve Stein who is on death row in Florida has escaped and they believe that he is the cause for some trouble happening in Seattle. More on this story as the news breaks.
Stein is considered to be very, very untrustworthy to say the least. He has repeatedly come late and left early. "We don't know what to do with this guy," his group's administrative associate said to a reporter.