Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stomach Flu, Stomach Bug? No, It Is The Norwalk virus!

There is no such thing as the "stomach flu".

It's called "Norwalk virus".

Here are some ways to prevent the virus.

The only way to get Norwalk virus is to ingest the contaminated fecal/vomit particles through your mouth, nose or eyes.Wash your hands for at least 15 seconds (sing the A,B,C song or Happy Birthday song twice) with warm soapy water to prevent from getting sick.

The virus is not airborn unless you are standing right next to a vomiting person.

Wash your hands before touching your face, preparing meals, eating etc.

Hand sanitizers will not kill this virus.

The ONLY way to kill the virus is to clean the infected areas with a bleach water solution.

Lysol and other house hold cleaners will not kill this virus.

If you have this virus, it is crucial to wash your hands after every episode of vomiting and diarrhea.You should also wash your hands after handling contaminated objects like buckets or sheets with vomit or feces on them.

The person is contaminated with the virus for at least 1 week afterwards, so washing hands is a must.

Wiping down all door knobs, light switches, faucets, toilet flushes, etc. with bleach will minimize cross contamination.

The virus usually lasts about 24 hours and the symptoms may include:
watery diarrhea
stomach aches

If you have this virus, you must stay hydrated. Smart water, Powerade,  Gatorade and Pedialyte all contain important electrolytes to help the body replenish lost electrolytes.

Sipping is crucial if you cannot "drink" it. A couple of sips every 5 to 10 minutes will stave off nausea and keep you hydrated.

Do not eat for at least 4 hours after your last vomiting episode. Stick to the BRAT diet (bananas,rice,applesauce,toast) or saltine crackers for a few days afterwards.

Be sure to wash your hands to prevent from spreading the virus to others.

This virus is typically not dangerous to people unless you are very young, elderly, have a compromised immune system or become dehydrated.

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