Wash your hands of the winter vomiting bug

Hand hygiene is the best way to avoid colds, flu and other viruses like the notorious Norovirus.

Up to half of men and a quarter of women do not wash their hands after going to the toilet.

We have between two and ten million bacteria between our elbow and fingertips.

Norovirus bug so powerful it closes up to 90 per cent of hospital wards

Top tips to avoid the winter vomiting bug

Hand hygeine supply specialists www.notjusttaps.co.uk have thrown their weight behind the campaign to reduce the number of cases of Norovirus. They say avoiding the winter vomiting bug could be as simple as washing your hands after going to the toilet.

“Hand Hygiene is considered one of the most critical elements in reducing the spread of infection,” said Hertfordshire based Derek Aaronson.

Norovirus has hit over million of us already this winter. The bug, which can last up to 72 hours, has been responsible for closing down schools, hospital wards and even forcing cruise ships to dock early. But the vomiting, diarrhoea, and flu like symptoms can be easily avoided by practicing good hand hygiene says Derek, whose business, www.notjusttaps.co.uk gives advice and supplies specialist hand hygiene equipment to the medical, dental, marine, schools and public use facilities.

Since 2008 figures from the Health Protection Agency show February as being one of the worst hit months.

Ninety per cent of reported suspected or confirmed hospital outbreaks of Norovirus led to wards and bays being closed or restrictions to admissions in the two week period leading up to the 5th February 2013.

The South West saw the highest number of outbreaks in hospitals since July 2012 with 146 cases reported. 137 cases of outbreaks in hospitals were reported in the North East while the South East and the Yorkshire and Humberside regions both reported 131. Just 20 London hospitals reported outbreaks over the same period.

The East of England saw the fewest number of cases with just nine hospitals reporting outbreaks in the last six months.

“It’s well known that those in the medical profession, doctors, dentists and people in schools and institutional environments are bound by strict hygiene standards but that does not mean we shouldn’t practice good hand hygiene in the home. What’s a less well known fact is that we have between two and ten million bacteria between our elbow and fingertips.” Said Derek.

Here are Derek’s top tips on how to avoid the winter vomiting bug.

After washing hands, use paper towels not fabric ones to dry them.

Bars of soap can carry bacteria from one person to another, use a liquid soap dispenser instead.

When out and about always carry anti-bacterial gel in case you don’t have access to hand washing facilities.

Research shows that up to half of men and a quarter of women don’t wash their hands after paying a visit to the toilet. Don’t be one of these statistics!

For detailed instructions on how to wash your hands properly Derek recommends visiting www.wash-hands.com the NHS guide to hand washing.