What is the Norovirus?
The Norovirus is arguably one of the most contagious winter sickness bugs of recent times with reports of more than 60 outbreaks of the Norovirus in schools over the past seven days alone. With at least 25 different strains of the virus, contributing to symptoms that include sickness, diarrhoea and a fever, this is an outbreak that parents do not want to reach their homes.
The sickness bug puts a huge amount of pressure on the NHS at an already busy time of the year with no treatment options available.
So, what causes it and how can we eradicate the winter vomiting bug from not just schools but hospitals, nursing homes and our homes.
How is the virus spread and why is it more common in children?
Children are more susceptible to catching viruses easily within school environments with many contributing factors that include, the proximity of students along with weaker immune systems and the need for heating systems to be in use, which is a breeding ground for any virus.
This virus is then transferred to the home which can then be passed onto parents and siblings.
How is this winter bug spread?
The Norovirus is spread extremely easily and is highly contagious. There are various means of transmitting the sickness bug that includes, close contact with someone with the illness, cross-contamination of surfaces such as door handles, rails or even desks or eating food handled by someone infected.
Once infected the symptoms begin and can last for up to two days, this is also the minimum incubation period as the virus is most contagious at this point.
How can we prevent the Norovirus from spreading?
The NHS advises that the best way to prevent the virus is practising good hygiene, washing hands regularly with soap and water to kill the virus and prevent the cross-contamination whilst also following the advised incubation period guidelines once affected.
It is worth noting that antibacterial hand gels are not effective at destroying the bacteria known to cause the virus.
While good hygiene helps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus from person to person, it doesn’t eradicate the illness.
By the time a child or person realises they have the Norovirus, they would have come into contact with various surfaces throughout the school, hospital or home which is the reason for a large number of outbreaks.
The only real effective way to prevent and destroy the virus is to use a combination of good hygiene and deep cleaning of any establishments that have had reported cases.
As there are a large number of disinfectants that fail to kill the bug it’s not as simple as just wiping down the potential areas of infection using sanitisers normally found in schools and hospitals. It requires a team of qualified cleaning specialists to thoroughly decontaminate the affected building.
That’s where Ratcliffe Cleaning can help. We specialise in the deep cleaning of schools, hospitals and nursing homes following outbreaks of the Norovirus using specialist cleaning products that will rid the site of the bacteria known to spread the bug. All our qualified staff are trained to the highest standards and possess DBS Checks that allow them to work in schools and public sector establishments.
Our deep cleaning services are available throughout the West Midlands and Staffordshire including areas such as Birmingham, Cannock, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Stoke offering a fast response service.
If you suspect an outbreak of the Norovirus in your school, hospital or care home then contact Ratcliffe Cleaning today on 0800 086 9215.