What is Norovirus?
Norovirus is a word that frequently enters news headlines at this time of year, which is probably why it’s earnt the nickname of the “winter vomiting bug”. It’s not a particularly catchy alias, but it is accurate. It’s estimated to effect up to 1 million people in the UK every year.
There are at least 25 known strains of Norovirus that affect humans, all of which are the most common cause of gastroenteritis (Stomach bug) in the UK. The virus spreads easily and the symptoms include diarrheoa and vomiting.
What should I do if I catch it?
Drink plenty of water and take recommended paracetamol doses if suffering from fevers and aches. If you do feel like eating, make sure to start with easy digestible foods. Most importantly stay at home! The main culprit for the spread of Norovirus is through contact, so do yourself and everyone a favour by resting.
If symptoms last longer than a few days, or you already have a serious underlying condition, than contact your GP for advice.
What are this risks?
There is no specific cure for Norovirus, so unfortunately, an infected person must recover naturally. On an individual level the virus is particularly unpleasant (but not usually dangerous) and will take you out of action for a few days. On a business level, the virus spreads rapidly and can result in large amounts of absenteeism, so it’s in everyone’s interest to prevent the spread.
Preventing the spread of Norovirus
The NHS advise the following measures are taken on board to help stop the spread of the virus.
- Wash your hands frequently – Hands are one of the best ways of transferring norovirus, so wash them frequently.
- Avoid handling food – Get a takeaway or make the other half cook while you rest. Preparing food while infected is a sure fire way of spreading the virus.
- Don’t share towels or flannels – It’s good hygiene practice anyway, so no better time to adopt the practice.
- Disinfect surfaces that an infected person has touched – Under optimal conditions, norovirus can survive on a surface for up to two weeks. This could result in a second outbreak once you thought the first had cleared up. Decontamination is key.
After an outbreak
Hospitals, care homes, cruise ships, restaurants and schools are all common locations for a Norovirus outbreak. The key is that once the symptoms have been recognised in one person, to follow with a swift and efficient norovirus decontamination procedure.
CK Group recommend VHP (Vaporised Hydrogen Peroxide) to tackle Norovirus decontamination. VHP is extremely effective at killing most harmful pathogens and due to its vapour form, it allows for easy dispersal onto all surfaces within the outbreak area. For more information on VHP and how it works, why not take a look at our article explaining its use in more detail. CK Group’s VHP treatment can create a sterile environment within just a few hours.
Are you in need of Norovirus decontamination treatment? If so than please contact us on 0208 659 6748 as soon as possible.