Nasty Noro is a tough customer

TAKE out the big guns, bleach and strong disinfectants, if coming anywhere near to someone who has vomited this week.

The dreaded norovirus is making its annual winter appearance in Gympie.

Many families have already succumbed to the highly contagious virus, which causes the sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhoea.

Sunshine Coast Health Unit public health specialist Dr Andrew Langley said this wasn't unusual for this time of the year.

"In some countries it is called the winter vomiting disease," he said.

"It is characterised by a short period of illness where people feel quite sick with vomiting and diarrhoea. But they are usually better in 24 hours."

Because norovirus has such a short duration, public health officials do not test for it and no statistics are kept.

"It is not something we have data collection for as it needs specialised testing."

It is the virus which is known to "flatten school camps" and spread quickly through homes, day-care centres, aged-care facilities and even cruise ships.

Rotavirus is a similar type of virus which occurs in young children. However, there is a vaccine for this virus. There is no vaccine for the "nasty noro".

 

How to prevent the nasty norovirus:

  • Frequently wash your hands, especially after toilet visits and changing nappies and before eating or preparing food.
  • Carefully wash fruits and vegetables, and steam oysters before eating them.
  • Flush or discard any vomitus and/or faeces in the toilet and ensure surrounding area is kept clean.
  • After the illness, thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately with detergent and hot water initially, then a disinfectant. Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens in hot water.
Gympie Times


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