Schools have a great opportunity to apply infection prevention tactics that ensure kids have a safe and hygienic school environment.Learn More
Category: Hygiene in Schools
Young children continually pull various objects into their mouths. It’s good if this happens at home, and these are clean toys. But it can also happen on the street, on the playground and in other places where no one will vouch for you for the cleanliness of the item taken in a mouth. That is why children often have intestinal infections. In addition, children are often united in children’s groups (kindergarten, school’, children’s camp, etc.), where any infection can spread quite quickly. This article can prepare you to fight with one of the most common causes of gastroenteritis – Norovirus.
So what should parents do?
Parents need to teach children to practice their own hygiene – to wash hands, not to take food from the floor, not to take to a mouth something that was lying on the street, etc. Of course, this will not protect the child from an intestinal infection, but still, reduce the risk of its occurrence.
Main symptoms of norovirus:
The main symptoms are the manifestation of gastroenteritis, and usually, gastritis complaints (vomiting) come first, unlike rotavirus infection.
The incubation period of the disease (the period of time from contact with the patient until the first symptoms appear) is short: from 1 to 3 days (on average 36 hours).
So, the main signs are:
vomiting, including repeated, indomitable;
paroxysmal abdominal pain;
rumbling in the stomach;
the presence of mucus in the feces;
respiratory symptoms (runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing);
muscle and joint pain, headache;
an increase in body temperature (not the most characteristic symptom, the disease can occur at normal or even low temperature).
Antiemetics, painkillers, drugs that block peristalsis can be used to alleviate symptoms, but they can be given only after consulting a pediatrician and receiving his recommendations.
What you can do if your child has a Norovirus:
If the child has already contracted Norovirus infection, then you need to carefully monitor its condition, especially if it is a very small child. Norovirus infection can cause repeated vomiting in children. But, unlike adults, in children, dehydration occurs much faster. In such a situation, severe dehydration can lead to the death of the child. Therefore, in such a situation, it is necessary to begin hydrating your child as soon as possible. For this, fractional drinking is used. The child is given liquid by a teaspoon with an interval of about 15 minutes, which allows the liquid to be absorbed. Most preferably water with electrolytes, if not, then you can give mineral water (after releasing the gas). The volume of fluid that a child should drink in the first 6-8 hours of the disease is approximately 100 ml per 1 kg of body weight for infants, and 50-80ml per 1 kg of body weight for children over 1 year of age.
Warning signs of dehydration include:
– fatigue and lethargy;
– a decrease in the amount of urine;
– dry mouth and throat, thirst;
– crying without tears.
If due to constant vomiting, you are unable to get enough hydration for the child or you see that the child is getting worse, then you urgently need to call an ambulance and go to the hospital, where the child can receive the necessary infusion therapy.
When do I need to see a doctor?
– diarrhea in a child does not go away for several days,
– severe vomiting,
– blood appeared in the stool, Severe abdominal pain
That the main protection against norovirus infection and other intestinal infections caused by viruses is not only personal hygiene prevention measures, but also a timely treatment for medical care in medical institutions, especially if it affects CHILDREN!
Comments are appreciated, share your experience with us.
Have a safe winter!
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In the last 2 decades, Norovirus has become a real issue. Even though it is commonly called the winter vomiting bug, it can challenge our lives several times throughout the year.
Norovirus – what is that?
One of the most common reasons for seeking medical help in the winter is food poisoning or acute infectious poisoning. Common food poisoning will make itself felt after 4-6 hours, but will disappear without a trace in a few days and will not transfer to another person. Acute intestinal infection can occur right after the 1st interaction with the Norovirus carrier.
The causative agent, Norovirus, is very contagious, so everyone who comes into contact with the carrier will be at risk right away. Using the same dishes, share the meal, even merely sitting next to the infected person. This virus can cause a severe epidemic, as we discussed in previous posts. Norovirus is most dangerous for children, elderly people, pregnant women, or people with immunodeficiency or physically weakened,
They struggle with the symptoms is not an easy story to share. There are no specific signs. However, most of the patients will typically report diarrhea combined with a bloody admixture, abdominal pain, pallor, vomiting, nausea, fever, and general weakness.
Can we “fight” back?
It is not easy to get rid of the virus at all. Norovirus is super viable, a cleaning with ordinary detergents will not kill it. You will need to use dangerous disinfection agents are required. Dishes, items used by an infected patient, as well as toys, clothes need to be washed with warm water with the addition of disinfectants. All items that have been stained with vomit must be removed immediately at a temperature of at least 140 °F.
This means if you had a breach, your facility is going to have a severe chemical treatment before you are suitable for a new “business day.”
Be smart to protect yourself!
You may hear a note of paranoia, and yet, when this “friend” is here, you need to think about your hygiene all the time:
- Proper hand-washing is a good start. Wash your hands before consuming food or beverages, after the bathroom (especially the public facilities, this includes those in the education environment like schools or universities), after contacting potentially infected people.
- Before and during food preparation – wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly, store food at the right temperature and make sure that the food preparation surfaces are clean.
- What about our pets? – unfortunately, these sweet little family members often could be the contamination agent. However, it is not a reason to stop loving them! The only thing you should remember is to wash your hands after you pet your friend.
Going back to what tastes good
Food supervisors should strengthen control over the quality of products, its preparation, and its storage. Restaurants, cafes, and canteens, as wells as schools or childcare facilities, are the best “combat zone” to fight back Norovirus epidemic. If you are a restaurant owner, a food safety agent, a school employee, you can fight back. Better education interventions as well as implementing new technologies that help to maintain hygiene quality. We can do more to protect our customers from Norovirus.
Do you want to know more about the new available technologies? Visit this Link.
Remember: at the first signs of an intestinal infection, in no case should you go to an educational institution or go to work. Be conscious and keep others safe.
The enemy in Numbers:
Share this information as it is vital to everyone (Friends, Family, Enemies) .
We also would like to learn, what is your experience and/or knowledge on how to fight the NOROVIRUS?
We wish you a safe and a happy New Year.
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A science teacher is imploring students and parents to wash their hands after posting the results of her classroom’s stomach-churning experiment.
Flu season is in full swing. The CDC is reporting that 30 states—especially southern states like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina—are already seeing flu activity. A preliminary estimates report states that there have already been 1.7 million to 2.5 million flu illnesses nationwide between October and November. Thankfully, there are measures everyone can take to keep the virus at bay. And a science teacher from Idaho is spreading awareness with a jaw-dropping post that has gone viral.
Jaralee Annice Metcalf shared photos of a science project she did with her class, writing alongside a series of photos, “We took fresh bread and touched it. We did one slice untouched. One with unwashed hands. One with hand sanitizer. One with washed hands with warm water and soap. Then, we decided to rub a piece on all our classroom Chromebooks.” The result: “So DISGUSTING!!!”
Photos by : COURTESY OF JARALEE ANNICE METCALF
Metcalf pointed out that yes, the school typically sanitizes the Chromebooks but didn’t for this experiment, the results took three to four weeks due to the bread’s preservatives which extend shelf life, and the bread was placed in tightly-sealed freezer Ziploc bags.
“If the bread had been exposed to air and moisture, the experiment may have gone faster,” Metcalf tells Parents.com. “The breads that were very clearly exposed to different germs grew mold quicker. And ones touches by clean hands plus the soap and water ones were not exposed to the germs that cause the mold growth to quicken.”
In her Facebook post, Metcalf identified herself “as somebody who is sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired and urged followers to wash their hands” and urged her followers to wash their hands, remind their kids to wash their hands, and to remember that hand sanitizer is not an alternative to washing your hands.
She pointed those interested in doing the experiment themselves to instructions provided on C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital’s website.
Since Metcalf shared the images, her post has earned over 59K shares and over 8K comments.
Ultimately, the science teacher hopes that parents not only better understand the importance of hand-washing but that they take the results into consideration when their child comes down with a bug. “Germs spread rapidly,” Metcalf tells Parents.com. “And it doesn’t matter how often they’re told or how well they’re taught to wash their hands, children won’t always do it properly or enough.” That said, when hand-washing fails, a sick day might be called for, which could preempt illnesses like the flu from spreading even further.
Original publication: linkLearn More
A Colorado school district has closed more than 40 schools after a highly contagious virus outbreak.
It’s the first time the Mesa County Valley School District 51 has had to close all schools due to illness, the district said Wednesday.
“We are taking this highly unusual action because this virus is extremely contagious and spreading quickly across our schools,”
Nursing Coordinator Tanya Marvin said in the statement.
More than a dozen schools in the state’s 14th largest district reported increased absences “due to illness and several incidences of vomiting in public areas of the schools,” according to the Mesa County Public Health Department.
A second, related virus has also been affecting students in recent weeks, the district said.
“The combination of the two has created an unprecedented spread of illness.”
“Onset of symptoms for both types of viruses, including vomiting, is incredibly fast. The second version also causes fever in several cases,” the district statement said.
The health department says it is working to identify the illness, which is “acting a lot like norovirus” and lasts between 12-24 hours.
Norovirus, sometimes called the “stomach bug,” is easily spread through direct contact, consuming contaminated food or water, or touching contaminated surfaces and then putting your hands in your mouth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The very young, older people, and those with other illnesses are most vulnerable to severe dehydration.
The closure includes all after-school activities, the district said, and schools will remained closed until after Thanksgiving break.
Mesa County Valley School District 51 is the largest school district between Salt Lake City, Utah, and Denver, Colorado, the district website says. It serves more than 22,000 students in 46 schools and programs, employing nearly 3,000 employees.
Tips on how to avoid the illness include thoroughly washing hands and staying away from people who are sick.
“When you have norovirus, the very dramatic symptom people have is often violent vomiting that hits you pretty suddenly,” said Amesh Adalja, MD, a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America and a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security in Baltimore, Maryland.
“You have nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and it usually lasts 24 to 48 hours,” he told Healthline. “It can be a pretty grueling 24 to 48 hours.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source reports the virus sickens millions of people each year. The very young, older people, and those with other illnesses are most vulnerable to severe dehydration.
Each year, as many as 71,000 people are hospitalized. Between 500 and 800 die.
“What’s very striking about norovirus is that it’s very highly infectious. And if you’re exposed to it, there’s a very high likelihood you could be infected by it, even if you’re in good health,” Adalja said.
Easy to get, hard to shakeExperts say that when someone is sick with norovirus, they have large amounts of the virus in them, although it only takes a little to make you sick.
“We know that people who have the virus shed it in very large numbers in their fecal material. We’re talking millions to billions of virus particles in a gram,” said Lee-Ann Jaykus, PhD, a professor in the department of food, bioprocessing, and nutrition sciences at North Carolina State University.
“It probably doesn’t take more than 100 particles to make you sick,” she told Healthline.
Jaykus says scientists know the virus is passed from person to person. That happens when an infected person doesn’t wash their hands after using the bathroom.
The surfaces they touch can become contaminated. If the infected person is a food handler, they can pass the virus onto your food.
They also know that when an infected person vomits, that surface will be contaminated.
But more recently, researchers learned that norovirus may also be transmitted in the air from the repeated vomiting.
“A lot of times this is what we call projectile vomiting, very forceful and severe, literally across the room,” Jaykus explained. “Some of that vomitus gets aerosolized, and it has norovirus in it.”
To study how this happens, Jaykus and a team of researchers actually built a vomiting machine to test how norovirus spreads. The machine simulated human vomiting.
The team used a surrogate virus, which wouldn’t make anybody sick. Then they measured the airborne virus particles.
The scientists publishedTrusted Source the findings of their study in the PLOS One journal in 2015.
“You can detect it. The numbers are not as high as in fecal material, but it’s there,” Jaykus added. “What happens is some of the virus gets aerosolized, people breathe it in. It hits the mucous membranes, goes into the stomach, and the infection process starts.”
And once it starts spreading through a community, the virus is hard to get rid of.
“This particular virus is extraordinarily resistant to the sanitizers and disinfectants that we commonly use at regulated concentrations and contact times,” Jaykus said.
“It’s also incredibly persistent. If I were to put norovirus on a surface in front of me right now, it would probably remain capable of causing infection for a month, maybe more,” she added.
What you can doJaykus notes there’s no norovirus vaccine yet, although some are being developed.
“The real way to protect yourself is to wash your hands a lot. If you see somebody vomiting, go the other way. And if you’re on a cruise ship, tell somebody,” she said.
The CDC Trusted Source has put together some tips to help you keep norovirus from spreading:
1) Practice good handwashing for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer alone won’t do.
2) Wash your fruits and vegetables. Cook seafood thoroughly.If you’re sick, don’t cook or care for others for at least 2 to 3 days after you recover.
3) Clean contaminated surfaces first, then disinfect them. Use a chlorine bleach solution with a concentration of 1,000 to 5,000 ppm (5 to 25 tablespoons of household bleach [5.25 percent] per gallon of water) or other disinfectant registered as effective against norovirus by the Environmental Protection Agency.
4) Wash your laundry thoroughly.Learn More
Photo for representation only.
Hand hygiene helps to reduce school absenteeism rates due to illnesses by almost 40% of studies suggest, said a senior healthcare professional.
While many factors contribute to school absenteeism, student illness is believed to be the main driver of student absenteeism.
The transmission of infections within schools can result in infections making students too sick to attend classes, said Dr Mohammed Rahmathulla Shafeeq, Assistant Executive Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Hamad Medical Corporation.
He urged parents and teachers to place special focus on handwashing.
“Proper and regular handwashing is essential for children as it ensures hygiene and averts infection,” said Dr Shafeeq.
“Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If soap and water are unavailable, use hand sanitiser,” he said.
Diseases such as flu, common cold, vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach flu are common diseases that can be positively impacted by more frequent hand hygiene and routine cleaning and disinfection of commonly touched surfaces.
“Proper and regular handwashing at school and outside keeps children free of infection. And schools should have proper facilities that help students easily wash their hands and maintain proper hygiene,” said Dr Shafeeq.
“Sinks should be placed in a place that is quite accessible for all students. And we recommend liquid soaps as soap bars cause infection to be transmitted from an infected child to others while it is used for handwashing,” he added.
Dr Shafeeq also said that tissue papers should be made available and children should be asked to make use of them after washing hands.
“Possibility of infection is high if the hands remain wet,” he said.
Dr Shafeeq also urged the school authorities to ensure that enough break time is available for all.
“Inadequacy of time can create inconvenience for students and this should be addressed. And all students should be given bathroom break if they demand it during class time,” he said.
He asked parents to teach their children personal hygiene and ensure hygiene is properly maintained in order to ensure that their children are free of infection.
“Children should be asked to take regular baths and brushing of teeth. And they should be sent to school with cleaned washed clothes,” he said.
Dr Shafeeq urged school authorities to regularly clean and maintain water cooler dispensers and air conditioning units in order to ensure they don’t transmit anything harmful.
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