Wash hands to keep bug away

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Remember When? - by Chris Price cprice@thek­m­group.co.uk

KEEP your­self and ev­ery­thing else clean! That’s the mes­sage from Kent’s Health Pro­tec­tion Agency (HPA) as the win­ter vom­it­ing bug sweeps across the na­tion.

The fast-spread­ing norovirus is af­fect­ing busi­nesses, hos­pi­tals and schools and the need to stop it ex­pand­ing is be­ing high­lighted ahead of the hol­i­day pe­riod.

Dr Mathi Chan­draku­mar, di­rec­tor of the HPA’s Kent Health Pro­tec­tion Unit said: “There is no spe­cific treat­ment for norovirus in­fec­tion apart from let­ting the ill­ness run its course and drink­ing plenty of flu­ids to avoid de­hy­dra­tion.

“The virus can be­come dif­fi­cult to con­tain mak­ing good hy­giene es­pe­cially im­por­tant in pre­vent­ing your­self and oth­ers from be­com­ing in­fected.

“This in­cludes thor­ough hand wash­ing, es­pe­cially af­ter us­ing the toi­let, be­fore and af­ter han­dling or pre­par­ing food and be­fore eat­ing. Any con­tam­i­nated sur­face should be thor­oughly dis­in­fected af­ter an episode of ill­ness.

Hos­pi­tals

“It is also very im­por­tant peo­ple with vi­ral gas­troin­testi­nal in­fec­tions such as norovirus do not visit friends or rel­a­tives in hos­pi­tals, nurs­ing or res­i­den­tial care homes.

“They should stay away from oth­ers un­til they are symp­tom free.

Peo­ple who work in health­care or food han­dling and chil­dren should re­main at home from work and school for 48 hours af­ter symp­toms cease.”

The in­fec­tions are gen­er­ally short-lived but if symp­toms per­sist, or seem to be get­ting worse, peo­ple should ask for a tele­phone con­sul­ta­tion with their GP or phone NHS Di­rect on 0845 4647.

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