Norovirus is a term that has set people on edge every winter for a fair few years now, but there are simple ways that you can take steps towards norovirus prevention and protect yourself and your family from coming down with the nasty bug such as cleaning away norovirus on surfaces. Read on to find some easy tips for you to follow.
Five facts you should know about norovirus
There are five important things everyone should know when it comes to preparing yourself and understanding how to prevent norovirus.
- Norovirus is often called “the winter vomiting bug” but it can in fact strike at any time of year.
- Norovirus spreads through the air, but you can also catch it if you touch something or someone who has the germs.
- The most common cause of norovirus is contaminated food, so always take care when preparing food.
- Symptoms may include:
- Stomach aches and/or abdominal pains and cramps
- Very loose diarrhoea
- There is currently no treatment for norovirus, so you will only be able to offer symptom control to anyone affected.
- People most at risk are children; those living, working or holidaying in close quarters with lots of other people; and anyone who has an already weak immune system such as those with immune disorders or with conditions such as AIDS.
How long does norovirus live on surfaces?
Norovirus on surfaces outside of a human host has an ability to survive for quite long periods of time, making it particularly nasty. The most important lifespans for you to know are as follows:
- Hard surfaces: Two to three weeks
- Fabrics: Up to twelve days
- Water: Months, potentially years
Seven steps you should take towards norovirus prevention
There are seven things that you can do to help protect yourself and your family from spreading and catching a norovirus bug.
- Ensure you wash your hands meticulously, especially if you have been in contact with anyone who is currently unwell.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables, even if you are cooking them and always cook seafood thoroughly.
- Avoid preparing food if you are unwell.
- Be sure to carefully clean all surfaces that people or food regularly come into contact with including door handles, stair banisters, and bathroom and kitchen surface, even if you think they look clean.
- Ensure you regularly wash clothing properly, especially if you have been in contact with other people who are under the weather.
- Take care when handling nappies or other soiled items, particularly if your child is unwell; and always wash your hands after.
- Regularly clean your toilets, and always clean them if you or anyone in your family is suffering from diarrhoea.
Norovirus may be a nasty bug, but now you have some tips for how to prevent norovirus from affecting your family; you will be able to protect them, and you, from coming down with it.