The winter vomiting bug is highly contagious and each year causes many people to fall sick with vomiting and diarrhoea. There’s no reliable vaccine to prevent the illness as it mutates every year. However, you can take action to help protect yourself, your household and your co-workers from becoming sick by practicing good hygiene and following a few simple rules.
What is the Winter Vomiting Bug?
Sometimes referred to as the Norovirus, the WVB is an umbrella term for illnesses contracted from a group of viruses that cause gastroenteritis. This condition leads an inflammation of the stomach and intestines and causes stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
How do You Get it?
The germs associated with the bug are present in the vomit and stool of infected people and are spread in various ways. We can get sick with the WVB when we eat or drink something contaminated with the virus, touch surfaces and then touch our mouths, or have direct contact with an infected person.
A person is a host to the bug as soon as they start to feel ill and they remain contagious for some time after they have recovered. Although clinical trial services such as http://www.gandlscientific.com/clinical-trial-services/ still undertake research into the bug, there is, as yet, no cure for the illness once you have it.
How to Prevent the Spread of the Bug
The most basic good hygiene practice is hand washing. This means always washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the toilet or changing a nappy. Alcohol based hand sanitizers can help too, but hand washing is more effective.
If you have been sick or been to the toilet while ill, the area should be completely sanitised. Wiping down all affected surfaces with a diluted bleach solution can do this. If you have been taking care of or have been to visit someone who is ill, you should remove and wash all your outer clothes once you leave. Simply undress, fold the clothes and put them straight in the washing machine at 60 degrees. You should also completely avoid preparing food for others if you are sick.
In the case of the WVB, the only cure is prevention, but by following these simple strategies you can actively help protect yourself and others from the illness.