Norovirus: How to clean up after someone who vomits
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If Coronavirus wasn’t enough, health officials from Public Health England have detected a surge in the vomiting bug, warning that it could be on the rise as we enter into the winter months. Wednesday 1st September marks the end of the summer holidays for school children and staff in the UK. Although some Covid restrictions such as mask wearing and social distancing have ceased, to prevent norovirus some precautions will still have to be a priority.
To address the issue, Dr Lesley Larkin surveillance lead for the gastrointestinal pathogens unit at PHE, told PA: “We have seen increases in norovirus cases as COVID-19 restrictions have eased and people mix more.
“As with COVID-19, handwashing is really important to help stop the spread of this bug, but remember, unlike for Covid-19 alcohol gels do not kill off norovirus so soap and water is best.”
Most recently norovirus cases have been detected in year-year educational settings.
In June 2021, PHE said that cases were “notably higher.”
One month later in July, cases were 43 percent higher than average on the previous “five seasons prior to the emergence of Covid-19.”
Dr Lesley continued to warn parents of children and staff to stay at home if they experience norovirus symptoms and to not return until 48 hours after symptoms have cleared.
“As children head back to school next week, it’s important to remember simple steps we can all take to limit the spread of this unpleasant bug and reduce the chances of outbreaks.”
Similarly to COVID-19, norovirus can spread very easily from person to person.
If you touch objects or surfaces that are contaminated with the virus, or eat food that has been handled by someone infected you run the risk of getting the bug yourself.
According to the NHS, the three main symptoms include:
- Nausea (feeling sick)
- Vomiting (being sick).
In addition to these main symptoms it is likely individuals will complain of a headache, high temperature and aching in the arms and legs.
Symptoms are sudden and hard to spot early, but it is important to be aware of the signs.
In order to treat the virus, the most important thing is rest and lots of intake of fluids to prevent dehydration.
Typical antibiotics such as paracetamol can also be used to curb any fever or pains.
How to prevent norovirus
In addition to hand washing frequently, particularly after using the toilet or preparing food, it is important to disinfect any surfaces or potentially contaminated objects.
This includes clothing and bedding, which should be put on a hot wash separately from other items.
Not sharing flannels, towels or cutlery is also important when someone is ill or suspected to have the virus.
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