Seasonal viruses are still circulating during the pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, seasonal viruses are still here and circulating, including norovirus, seasonal flu and the common cold.

Some signs and symptoms of these viruses mimic symptoms of COVID-19 so it is important to know the differences between them and understand how they are spread to stop transmission. Remember that getting a flu shot is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself and others from flu and to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, an agency within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.”

NORAVIRUS
Norovirus is sometimes referred to as the “stomach flu,” but it is not influenza. It causes sudden onset of nausea and vomiting; diarrhoea; abdominal cramps; and occasionally low-grade fever. These symptoms usually last 1-3 days from onset. People are infectious while sick and up to 72 hours after they have recovered. Norovirus may be severe in elderly and immunocompromised populations.

Norovirus is extremely infectious. It is usually spread to others via the faecal-oral route, but also in vomit. One single drop of vomit contains enough virus to make more than 100,000 people sick. It can also be spread through contact with contaminated food, water, objects, surfaces and equipment, especially in health care settings. The majority of norovirus cases and outbreaks occur between December-April.

NORAVIRUS
Norovirus is sometimes referred to as the “stomach flu,” but it is not influenza. It causes sudden onset of nausea and vomiting; diarrhoea; abdominal cramps; and occasionally low-grade fever. These symptoms usually last 1-3 days from onset. People are infectious while sick and up to 72 hours after they have recovered. Norovirus may be severe in elderly and immunocompromised populations.

Norovirus is extremely infectious. It is usually spread to others via the faecal-oral route, but also in vomit. One single drop of vomit contains enough virus to make more than 100,000 people sick. It can also be spread through contact with contaminated food, water, objects, surfaces and equipment, especially in health care settings. The majority of norovirus cases and outbreaks occur between December-April.

Precautions to take if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhoea include: distancing yourself from others until you have not been sick for 24-48 hours; washing your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water; cleaning and disinfecting high-touch and visibly contaminated surfaces frequently using a bleach solution (only bleach will kill norovirus); and avoiding preparing food or drinks for others.

INFLUENZA
Influenza (or “flu”) is an infection of the lungs and respiratory system. Compared to norovirus, it can take longer for someone to become sick with the flu, and, depending on its severity, longer to recover. Symptoms of influenza include fever and chills; headache; sore throat; cough; body aches; fatigue; and congestion. Vomiting and diarrhoea are not typical symptoms, but may occur as the body’s immune system is weakened, especially in children.

If you are sick with the flu, stay home and away from others. The virus is spread by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Flu viruses can live on hard surfaces such as metal and plastic and can live longer on fabrics and other soft surfaces. It is spread by touching your mouth, nose or eyes after having contact with these contaminated surfaces or objects.

Flu can be prevented by receiving a flu vaccination every year; washing hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water; cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces and visibly contaminated areas; and avoiding touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

Sanondaf’s leading-edge disinfection service is proven to eradicate over 280+ pathogens including Norovirus.

Source: Times Tribune

Published 28 January 2021
Written by Sanondaf UK
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