Surge in “winter sickness bug” causes concern
With children about to return to school – and having already done so in Scotland – concerns have been expressed regarding an unseasonal surge in a very unpleasant illness, with preschool and nursery settings being particularly at risk, says a recent report on the Independent website.
With classrooms across the country preparing to open and coronavirus restrictions being carefully diminished, a new health issue is rearing its ugly head “particularly in nurseries and childcare settings” writes Jon Sharman.
The problem is the unseasonal prevalence of norovirus, known as the “winter sickness bug” or “winter vomiting bug”.
Concentrate on soap and water hand washing
Cases started to increases markedly in June, with cases involving kids under five years of age being “notably higher”, says the article, which quotes Dr Lesley Larkin, surveillance lead for the gastrointestinal pathogens unit at Public Health England (PHE).
Dr Larkin emphasised the importance “simple steps we can all take” to reduce the risk of cross-infection – with soap and water hand washing being the highest priority.
He also warned that any reliance on hand gels is entirely misplaced when it comes to norovirus.
“As with Covid-19, handwashing is really important to help stop the spread of this bug, but remember, unlike for Covid-19 alcohol gels do not kill off norovirus so soap and water is best.”
Other advice on isolation during an outbreak, cleaning protocols and infection control can be found in the article.
Norovirus: Warning over outbreaks of winter sickness bug as schools prepare to reopen »
Teach children effective hand washing techniques with portable sinks that can go anywhere – indoors or out
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