Brace yourself for the Norovirus

The Norovirus

As the dark nights continue to draw in and the temperatures plummet we are taking a closer look at the ‘Winter Vomiting Bug’ aka Norovirus. We’re going to take a look at what the Norovirus is, how serious it is and what you can do to prevent contamination.

What is Norovirus?

Norovirus is the most common stomach bug in the UK and it’s a highly contagious virus. Symptoms start with people experiencing a sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea. It is important to keep hydrated, especially young children, the elderly, and people with other illnesses.  Norovirus can be called by other names such as food poisoning and stomach flu. The Norovirus illness is not related to the flu but they do share some of the same symptoms.

The Norovirus infection causes gastroenteritis – inflammation of the stomach and intestines which leads to diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach pain.

Is it serious?

Yes, it affects 700 million and kills over 200,000 people worldwide per year with an estimated £2.8 billion in healthcare costs each year. There are many types of norovirus and anyone can get it more than once.

Who can catch the Norovirus illness?

The Norovirus is contagious from the moment you begin to feel sick and for the first few days after you recover. It can be spread quickly in enclosed places such as nursing homes, daycare centres, schools and cruise ships. The virus can attach and stay on objects and surfaces and still infect people for days or weeks. Passed via the vomit or faeces of an infected person, it can spread to others by having direct contact with an infected person, eating food or drinking liquids which are contaminated, touching objects and putting your fingers in your mouth, and sharing utensils or cups with infected people. It is hard to get rid of the bacteria even with some disinfectants.

What to do if you get the symptoms

There is no vaccine to prevent the Norovirus infection and no drug to treat it. Antibiotics do not work with viruses so they will not help this illness. If you do have the Norovirus illness then you need to drink plenty of liquids to replace fluid loss and prevent dehydration. However, if you or someone you are caring for is dehydrated then call the doctor as further medical treatment could be required.

Steps to prevent the Norovirus from spreading

  • Wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet, changing diapers and, handling, preparing and eating food
  • When preparing or cooking food, wash fruits and vegetables and cook seafood thoroughly ( The virus can survive temperatures as high as 60°C)
  • If you are sick do not prepare food or care for others and keep anyone who is infected, out of the areas where food is being prepared
  • Disinfect and clean all contaminated surfaces with Azowipe Hard Surface Disinfectant Wipes
  • Immediately remove and wash all clothes or linens that may be contaminated

Why use Azowipes to clean and disinfect surfaces?

Azowipe is a reliable diverse range of hard surface disinfectant wipes. They minimize the risk of cross-contamination and has been used for over 35 years in the healthcare industry. To prevent spreading the Norovirus you can use sprays and wipes to kill the virus on surfaces. For more information or to buy click here to be forwarded to the Azowipe page on our website. If you require more information or want to buy through an alternate way then contact our team by calling 01924 444577 or emailing hello@gemscientific.co.uk