Norovirus – A reminder

16
Nov

Winter often sees an increase in the winter vomiting bug (Norovirus). Managing the spread of the bug can be difficult, our guidance below will help you to minimise the spread should your organisation have an outbreak.

The main symptoms of the Norovirus illness usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and some stomach cramping and last about 1 or 2 days.

People can become infected with Norovirus in several ways including:

  • Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus
  • Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus
  • Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus, and then placing their hand in their mouth
  • Having direct contact with another person who is infected and showing symptoms (for example, when caring for someone with the illness, sharing foods or eating utensils with someone who is ill).

What should I do if I suspect a Norovirus within my operation?

All staff members should be informed of the absolute importance of maintaining very high levels of hygiene throughout the unit.  All usual cleaning routines are to be increased.  Clean all areas with a disinfection solution using 500ppm hypochlorite.

In the control of an outbreak, the important points are:

  1. Increase and if necessary reinforce all hygiene standards.
  2. Locate and safely dispose of any vomit.
  3. Restrict the movements of affected people
  4. Implement robust disinfection procedures; particularly of hand contact points; door handles, hand rails, lift buttons, telephones etc.
  5. Ensure ready to eat foods such as fruit and salads are carefully washed and or removed from service to avoid transmission.
  6. All staff members told to report any symptoms, however minimal.
  7. All sick staff to be placed off duty until they are at least 48 hours clear of all symptoms.
  8. All staff, particularly those affected, to be fastidious over personal hygiene.
  9. Staff to immediately report any soiled areas.
  10. Provide sanitising gel packs for staff and make available for guests.
  11. Notices to be placed in toilets requesting regular hand washing and the reporting of any dirty areas discovered in toilets.

 

If you need advice on what actions to take to limit the spread of Norovirus please contact the CSC helpline for assistance.

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