Norovirus Spreads Worldwide in 2013: Viral Gastroenteritis

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This 1964 poster from the CDC still promotes a healthy message. Photo by: CDC

This 1964 poster from the CDC still promotes a healthy message. Photo by: CDC

Norovirus Cleaners: Clorox or Lysol Products May Not Be Enough

Another preventive measure to take is to wash down everything around you. The CDC recommends that immediately after throwing up or having diarrhea you should disinfect the toilet and surrounding area. I know, that’s not what you want to do right after you get sick, but it will help stop the germs from spreading and infecting others.

But before you grab the container of Lysol or Clorox wipes, stop. Lysol and Clorox wipes may not kill the norovirus. According to Lysol’s website, the disinfecting wipes do not kill norovirus; however, the Lysol Disinfectant Spray Brand III does.

I contacted Clorox to find out if any of their products kill the norovirus. The representative that I spoke with said that the Clorox germicidal wipes will kill the norovius – but don’t go to your grocery store or Target to find them. The germicidal wipes are only sold at Lowes, Home Depot, office supply stores, or online suppliers. Read the labels carefully or use a chlorine bleach solution of five to 25 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water.

Flu Season Tip: Clean Laundry, No Germs

Wash, and then wash again, and again. This time, wash your clothes that may have come in contact with any vomit or stool. The CDC recommends that you put them in the washer for the longest amount of time that your machine will allow, and with detergent. Once washed, put the clothes in the dryer to kill any remaining germs. You should always handle soiled clothes, sheets, or towels with rubber or disposable gloves.

2013 Flu Season: Influenza and GII.4 Sydney Norovirus

Every year the norovirus causes about 21 million cases of gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and/or intestines) in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and there are about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths due to the norovirus every year.

Between the GII.4 Sydney norovirus and the influenza epidemic, there are  lot of sick people. Washing your hands, getting plenty of rest, exercising, and eating healthy are all preventative measures you can take to help avoid getting sick from one or both of these nasty viruses. But if you do get sick, contact your doctor – especially for the elderly and the very young. These two age groups are the most at risk for both seasonal influenza and the norovirus, and may need medical treatment.

Resources:

MSN News. New Strain of Norovirus spreads around the world. (2013). Accessed January 23, 2013.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Norovirus: Trends and Outbreaks. (2012). Accessed January 23, 2013.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preventing Norovirus Infection. (2012). Accessed January 23, 2013.

Lysol. Lysol and Norovirus. (2012). Accessed January 23, 2013.

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