You no longer have to book a cruise to catch the norovirus, which spreads quickly in crowded populations and is sometimes called the “cruise ship virus,” as it has increasingly come to prisons. While California's San Quentin State Prison began as a barge on San Francisco Bay in 1852, it seemed like the S.S. San Quentin in December 2006 when over 800 of the facility's 5,200 prisoners, plus 49 employees, became infected with norovirus within a matter of days. From the mainline to isolated areas of Death Row, the disease was quickly passed via unsanitary preparation of food in the main kitchen. Prisoner workers on the serving line were observed alternately dipping their gloved hands into the food pans, then putting them in their mouths, then rubbing them on their pants in a disgusting repetitive cycle only interrupted by wiping their noses and scratching themselves. It took weeks to break this vicious cycle of re-infection, as contagious prisoner kitchen workers (often clueless that they were carriers) were pressed into service without medical clearances. Norovirus, also known as Norwalk virus, is a virulent gastroenteritis that causes stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Often a 24-hour episode, it can last up to a week and is spread person-to-person. Sick prisoners at San Quentin were locked in their two-man cells, which sport Kafkaesque electrically-triggered toilets that are restricted to only three 2-second flushes per six-minute interval (subject to a one-hour lockout penalty for an untimely fourth flush). With two sick cellmates timing their vomiting and diarrhea attacks for days, it was a very demeaning experience. Norovirus outbreaks occurred at eleven other California prisons at about the same time, sickening thousands. The nearly three-week quarantine at San Quentin was lifted in January 2007. Gambling fever was overtaken by norovirus in Las Vegas in March 2007, when at least 150 prisoners and seven guards succumbed at the Clark County Jail. The jail's two towers were decontaminated; the spread of the disease was traced to kitchen workers in the 3,100-bed lockup. Thousands of citizens in the community had been sickened by norovirus since December 2006. In the Richmond (Virginia) City Jail, five guards and 57 prisoners fell ill to the virus in March 2007. Placed on quarantine, the jail shut its doors to incoming prisoners. Since the jail has only three toilets and one sink in each 150-bed housing unit, cross-infection (and re-infection) was a significant problem due to the lack of sufficient sanitation.