Hand wash­ing the best pre­ven­tion against ill­ness

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS -

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.

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