Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes gastroenteritis, and inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It's commonly referred to as the stomach flu or food poisoning, though it's not related to the influenza virus. Norovirus is thought to be the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the world, leading to 685 million cases a year. Norovirus is responsible for up to 21 million illnesses in the United States and now even in the United Kingdom. It is observed that norovirus spreads through contaminated food, water, surfaces, and close contact with infected people.

While norovirus infections are usually mild and resolve within a few days, they can be severe, especially in young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. The symptoms of this contagious virus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and fever. So how should you protect yourself from this deadly virus that attacks your gut health? As per reports, people have been making mistakes that have increased the spread of norovirus.

Here are some common mistakes that may lead to the spread of Norovirus:

Hand Hygiene:

Neglecting thorough handwashing, especially after using the restroom or handling contaminated surfaces, can increase the Norovirus risk by manifold. Only rinsing hands or skipping soap diminishes its effectiveness. Vigorous scrubbing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is crucial for rinsing away the virus.

Over Usage Of Hand Sanitizer:

While hand sanitisers are convenient, they aren't foolproof against Norovirus. Alcohol-based sanitisers may not effectively eliminate the virus without sufficient contact time or in the presence of organic matter. Moreover, they don't physically remove pathogens like soap and water do. It is essential to use soap and water whenever possible, instead of totally relying on hand sanitisers.

Contaminated Surfaces:

Norovirus stays on surfaces for days, waiting to infect unsuspecting people. Neglecting to disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, and electronic devices increases its spread. Regularly sanitize these surfaces with an EPA-approved disinfectant to curb transmission.

Ignoring Symptoms:

Ignoring Norovirus symptoms and continuing normal activities increases its spread. Individuals remain contagious even after symptoms subside, amplifying the risk of transmission. Practice self-isolation during illness and for at least 48 hours after symptoms resolve to prevent the spread.

Neglecting Personal Hygiene:

Crowded environments like schools, and nursing homes, serve as breeding grounds for Norovirus outbreaks. Neglecting personal hygiene practices, such as sharing utensils or failing to isolate infected people, fuels the spread of the virus. It is important to implement stringent hygiene protocols and isolate people with symptoms to stop the outbreak.

Failing To Practice Proper Toilet Hygiene:

Inadequate toilet hygiene presents an opportunity for Norovirus transmission. Flushing without closing the lid disperses viral particles into the air, where they can settle on surfaces or be inhaled by people. It is advised to always close the toilet lid before flushing and thoroughly clean and disinfect toilet surfaces regularly to prevent the spread of the virus.

2024-05-26T17:52:58Z dg43tfdfdgfd