Hand washing the best prevention against illness
An increase of stomach flu across the province has prompted the Cypress Health Region to remind the public that hand washing is the most important preventative measure to prevent spreading of enteric illnesses.
On Tuesday the Cypress Health Region issued a reminder to the public that hand washing is a simple but effective infection control measure. Health regions across the province have noted recent increases in enteric symptoms. Last month, the province recorded a total of 11 institutional outbreaks of Norovirus, with the Cypress Health Region experiencing one outbreak and two alerts.
Norovirus is more commonly referred to as the stomach flu. It is an enteric illness that causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It tends to last two to three days but can linger in a human body well after symptoms have ended. It is especially important to know that Norovirus can be spread through the fecaloral route of transmission. Every person comes into contact with many surfaces each day, providing countless opportunities for hands to pick up Norovirus.
The region also recommends those feeling ill to stay home, and specifically not to visit special care homes, seniors residences, or hospitals.
The health region advises the simple process for washing hands is: turn on taps, wet hands, add liquid soap, scrub hands for 20 seconds (the duration of singing Happy Birthday twice), rinsing hands with fingers pointed downwards, drying hands using a pre-dispensed paper towel, using that same paper towel to turn off the taps and open the bathroom door, and lastly, discarding the paper towel.
If you are feeling symptoms of Norovirus, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, the Cypress Health Region encourages you to stay home, receive adequate rest, and clean high-touch surfaces such as door knobs, light switches, and telephones.