Washing hands frequently provides the best defence against the norovirus. This is because exposure to even a small amount of the virus is enough to make you sick. Also, the virus can survive on inanimate objects (such as bathroom sinks, toilets, and doorknobs) and food for extended periods of time – perhaps as long as 12 days.
Wash your hands before and after handling food or food utensils, and after using the toilet, caring for the sick, changing diapers, handling garbage, using the phone, shaking hands, or playing with pets.
Most people do not wash their hands well enough, but following these steps will help keep your hands clean:
- Wet your hands with warm running water.
- Add soap, then rub your hands together to make a soapy lather.
- Continue rubbing your hands together for 20 seconds (about the amount of time it takes to sing through "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" once, not too quickly). Be sure to wash the front and back of your hands as well as between your fingers and under the nails.
- Rinse the hands under running water, letting the water run back into the sink, not down to the elbows.
- Turn off the water using a paper towel to avoid contact with the tap.
- Dry hands thoroughly with a clean towel.
- Use antibacterial gels or hand sanitizers that are now available in most public places, including bathrooms. They can also be purchased at most groceries, pharmacies, and supermarkets and can be carried around for quick and easy use.
If you're infected with the norovirus (or if your child is), stay home from work or school, as it's easy for others to become infected if they live or work in your environment.
There's no cure for gastroenteritis, but symptoms usually go away in a day or two. The important thing is to keep well hydrated, since you're losing fluids. Adults benefit from oral rehydration solutions, broth, or bouillon. A doctor will usually recommend that children under the age of 5 use oral rehydration solutions available at pharmacies.
It's best not to eat anything on the first day of a gastroenteritis infection, as you will likely vomit any food that you eat. Just drink water or other clear fluids or, if you can't tolerate that, suck on chips of ice. When you're feeling slightly better, you may be able to tolerate thin soup.
If you're feeling better the next day, add bananas, soup, crackers, rice, and oatmeal. Keep the diet soft and bland until you're back to normal.
The following are important tips for preventing food poisoning:
- Keep utensils and cooking surfaces clean.
- Always wash your hands before and after preparing food.
- Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
- Use a cutting board that is smooth, hard, and nonporous. Clean it with soap and water before and after use.
- Make sure all food is cooked thoroughly (especially seafood and poultry).
- Serve foods immediately after they are cooked.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Gastroenteritis