Norovirus in the News

It’s that time of year again when we start hearing more about outbreaks of Norovirus in the news.  According to the (CDC) Center for Disease Control, outbreaks occur throughout the year, but over 80% of outbreaks occur from November to April.  Hence, more and more news about Norovirus, commonly referred to as the ‘stomach flu’, is bound to be a popular topic in the coming months.

What is Norovirus?  It is a highly contagious virus, that can spread quickly in enclosed places like daycare centers, nursing homes, schools, and cruise ships to name a few.  This virus is not related to the flu, though they share some of the same symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pains.  You can catch norovirus from an infected person, a contaminated surface, or contaminated food and water. The flu virus can only live for a few hours on objects and surfaces, but the Norovirus can live for weeks, maybe longer!  Even more of a reason to make sure your hands and surfaces around you are kept clean.  The CDC estimates that each year Norovirus causes 19 to 21 million illnesses, 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths. Anyone can get infected with norovirus and you can get it more than once!

So, what can you do to keep your employees and customers healthy?  Clean. Have plenty of soap and hot water available for hand washing and follow that up when possible a with alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Then, make sure your surface areas are clean as well.

Bleach or an EPA registered disinfectant with the Norovirus kill claim, clearly marked on the label, are both effective solutions for killing the virus. Our customers came to us in search of a solution other than bleach.  Many were trying to get away from the strong fumes and potential dangers of using bleach.  Our solution was Triple Quick, a great smelling, EPA registered disinfectant that kills Norovirus, along with many other harmful bacteria and viruses.  i.e.:  Salmonella, MRSA, Parvovirus, Athletes Foot Fungus, Hep A, B, and C, just to name a few!

Here are some other helpful tips to keeping your staff and customers healthy.  When people have Norovirus, and a few days after they feel better, is when they are most contagious. So, have employees who have been sick with this virus stay home an extra few days.  Also, train your employees and cleaning staff on proper cleaning and hand washing techniques.

Keep your facility out of the news, by keeping it clean, and by knowing how to.