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News says Norovirus will be massive. Wondering if one can do anything to help avoid it....

(65 Posts)
bigbelle Sat 15-Dec-12 09:11:02

Holidays! Kids home! I do not want this. A few weeks ago I cut out most sugar trying to boost immunity (I read bacteria feeds on sugar). Bought some vitamins called Bee Prepared immune support (bee propolis?) & zinc at holland barret, washing hands like a maniac. Avoiding crowded areas. So far so good but sounds like it's spreading like crazy. ANy suggestions? Certain foods one could eat to get stronger?

SledsImOn Sat 15-Dec-12 09:15:43

I think the media will tend to hype it up to the max, whatever - so don't panic too much.

You could try taking probiotics - acidophilus etc, as the gut is the first line of defence apparently with any sort of illness. (read that somewhere)

One of our local hospitals has got closed wards because of it and so I'm hoping I get to have a home birth as the last thing anyone wants is to have a new baby and noro!
Keep washing hands, try and stay out of hospital - ! The kids being off school is imo a good thing as they can't bring it home.

Welovecouscous Sat 15-Dec-12 09:16:02

Belle in all honesty, other than avoiding crowded places, hospitals and drs and washing hands all the time I don't think there is much you can do.

If you do get it it will be over quite fast - we are a household of 4 and have all had it - the first person got it on Tues afternoon and the last person got it yesterday.

scaevola Sat 15-Dec-12 09:19:01

The only thing that is likely to help are washing hands thoroughly and frequently.

And the HPA person I saw on the news recommends staying at home throughout the time of illness and for 48 hours afterwards, as this would reduce the spread through the population.

Welovecouscous Sat 15-Dec-12 09:28:03

Sca - we are doing exactly that to avoid infecting others. There was a babies Xmas party we could have gone to yesterday morning, but as it wasn't quite 48 hrs we stayed at home - hopefully helped some other people have a sickness free run up to Xmas.

OddBoots Sat 15-Dec-12 09:30:50

Regular hand washing and cleaning of surfaces hands touch often (light switches, bannisters, toilet flush, door handles). Oh, and a dose of luck, it's somewhat random.

Elibean Sat 15-Dec-12 09:36:31

I agree with Sleds: media will hype it up whatever smile

Wash hands. Cross (clean) fingers. Shrug a lot!

clam Sat 15-Dec-12 09:37:43

In one yeargroup of 60 at my school, 19 were off yesterday. One child came in the door first thing and went straight to the sink and threw up, he was feeling so awful. I cannot believe his parents didn't know he was unwell already but sent him in anyway. Several children report, as they're sitting waiting to be collected after vomiting everywhere, that they've been sick at home that morning or the night before and yet are still sent to school to pass the bug on to everyone else.

bigbelle Sat 15-Dec-12 09:45:34

Elibean, love crossing 'clean' fingers n shrugging loads. Clam- that is freaky. I think it comes on pretty quickly, still, some parents are notorious for sending in sick children! Lots of good tips above.

lljkk Sat 15-Dec-12 10:12:13

I don't understand hype about Norovirus; from what I can tell it's just the same as usual vomiting bugs.

Which are awful, admittedly, but I don't see DC catching them more often now than they did 12 years ago, before it had a special name. Or the bug being any harder to deal with. Or prevent, etc.

DS4 has had a bug for last few days, Xing fingers it doesn't spread.

poorbuthappy Sat 15-Dec-12 10:20:49

Media hype at its worse.
Swine flu, bird flu.
It's a miracle that the country survives from 1 year to the next.

Don't get me wrong it's awful and people are suffering but it happens every year.

colleysmill Sat 15-Dec-12 10:21:43

I think I've got it. Haven't had a stomach bug for years. Not feeling very well at all

OddBoots Sat 15-Dec-12 10:31:44

Norovirus is the main type of vomiting bug, it's not a special name just the actual name of the pathogen that causes it.

I'm not sure it is a particular media hype but some people do need reminding of good hygiene practices to at least try to contain it so mentioning it in the media is the most effective way to do that. As a news story it is much more useful to most of us than some of the other supposed news.

BrigitBigKnickers Sat 15-Dec-12 10:40:56

DD (14) had this last week.
We restricted her to using one bathroom.
All surfaces, door knobs, toilet flushes, light switches cleaned with detox
Profuse hand washing and use of anti bacterial hand gel.
She stayed in another room.
None of the rest of us caught it.
Obviously it's easier to do with an older DC but cleanliness is the key.

colleysmill Sat 15-Dec-12 10:58:13

We only have one bathroom so that won't for us. Luckily its the weekend so dh is around to look after ds (3)

I work in healthcare where its been doing the rounds so I guess it was only a matter of time

OddBoots Sat 15-Dec-12 11:02:18

It's not always a matter of time, some people have a non-function version of the FUT2 gene which makes them immune to most norovirus strains (but more likely to get e-coli and flu).

Seriouslysleepdeprived Sat 15-Dec-12 11:10:44

Calm that's terrible. I'm always surprised how ignorant people are about passing on bugs. It's not over quickly for everyone unfortunately.

Last year a pregnant friend had lunch with someone whose DC's were recovering from the norovirus . She contracted it & went into early labour. Her DS was in SCU for 10 weeks & has life long complications as a result hmm

Having worked through many a hospital ward outbreak, the best thing you can do as Brigit suggests, we aren't allowed back on the ward for 72 hrs after the last 'episode'

Alcohol gel won't kill the spores though & boil wash everything. It lives on surfaces for upto 2 weeks shock

colleysmill Sat 15-Dec-12 11:22:34

oddboots that's interesting I didn't know that.

I managed so far to escape the flu/colds etc - very fortunate given I take immunosuppressant drugs - hopefully I will bounce back quickly from this

InNeedOfBrandyButter Sat 15-Dec-12 11:32:21

Anti bac gels will make it more easy to catch due to them killing all the good bacteria that would give you a fighting chance of not getting it.

Lots of fresh air, lots of hand washing, google how to hand wash properly you'd be surprised, avoid anyone who you know has it, avoid drs and hospitals and schools, make dc wash their hands as soon as they come home from school and get changed, shoes off in the house ( lots of vom on the pavements recently) bleach bleach and more bleach, keep your hands out your mouth esp when on public transport using cash machines and lifts. Sure there's more but I can't quite think ATM.

3b1g Sat 15-Dec-12 11:32:55

I have started asking the children to wash their hands (properly, with soap!) when they come in from school. Other than that, I'm not taking any special measures.

DS2 came down with D&V once when we were on a camping holiday! We were as careful as we could be about infection control and none of the rest of the group (four adults, seven other children) caught it.

If one child does come down with it, I would recommend that one person does clean-up and another (another adult if you have one or otherwise an older child) prepares the meals.

Hulababy Sat 15-Dec-12 11:36:15

Lots of bugs going round already here, d&v types mainly, plus the usual heavy colds.

Last week and week before we have had between 5-9 children off in most classes at school (so a quarter in many cases) with the various bugs. Also a fair few staff. Have started to really make sure the children are washing their hands properly, throwing tissues away after first use, and just general hygiene.

Aboutlastnight Sat 15-Dec-12 11:38:37

At work we have disinfectant wipes and are supposed to clean keyboard, mouse and desk before start of shift ( I work fir the NHS) it's certainly something worth doing if you share computers at work.

InNeedOfBrandyButter Sat 15-Dec-12 11:39:05

At my dc school they wash ther hands before lunch but not before the morning and afternoon break and fruit snack angry

DameFannyGallopsBEHINDyou Sat 15-Dec-12 11:41:49

Iirc alcohol gels don't work on noro as it doesn't have a lipid/fat-based shell to be dissolved by alcohol, so handwashing with proper soap is your best bet

bigkidsdidit Sat 15-Dec-12 11:43:53

It needs constant mentioning in the media IMO so people remember to wash their hands / keep sick children off school. Hype is good for that reason

pootlebug Sat 15-Dec-12 11:43:58

Anti bacterial agents are useless against it as it is a virus, not bacteria. So wash hands properly rather than anti bac gel, and use bleach-based cleaning solutions rather than anti bacterial ones. 48 hours symptom free includes after the diarrhea, not just the vomiting

OneHandFlapping Sat 15-Dec-12 11:45:40

Not every stomach bug is Norovirus. There are plenty of others. If you or your family have had D&V there is no way of proving whether it is Norovirus or something else, especially if only one person gets it.

The thing about Norovirus is that as well as the faecal/oral transmission route, it is transmitted by inhaling microparticles of vomit that are created whenever someone is sick. These also contaminate any surfaces around the sick person.

There are examples of an outbreak of Norovirus starting when one person vomits in a crowded room. There are also examples where one infected person contaminates food, including raspberries.

Welovecouscous Sat 15-Dec-12 11:54:05

My mother caught it when someone was unfortunately unexpectedly sick at a party she was at - they were standing a few groups behind her.

HousewifefromBethlehem Sat 15-Dec-12 12:03:29

There was one at a concert, the stone roses. Out of 1500 people 500 caught it. It was traced to a puddle of vomit on the steps.

HousewifefromBethlehem Sat 15-Dec-12 12:04:17

I love a good sick story, me!

insprognito Sat 15-Dec-12 12:36:57

My whole extended family have been struck down almost. My youngest has had it twice in 2 weeks. She's just turned one got better then 4 days later started with it again. The same thing happened with my neices and nephew so maybe its two different bugs?
I've just started a new job so was really worried about catching it. I've been constantly washing hands, door knobs and switches etc ,so far I'm ok. Have cleaned no end of sick up and been changing lots of bad nappies, dd was sick on me twice too so maybe I've just been lucky. I believe it's caused by a virus so anti-bac products aren't effective.

ChristmasPickles Sat 15-Dec-12 13:46:04

Can anyone tell me how they keep their mobile phones clear of a virus? Especially if wipes don't work.

I'm well aware that I've used my phone out and about or when I've just got in and haven't washed my hands and thought hmmm if I have picked up something on my hands I've just transferred it onto my phone...

InNeedOfBrandyButter Sat 15-Dec-12 14:50:57

pickles I would add bleach, washing up liquid and boiling kettle water to the sink, swish cloth about and wring it very very very dry and wipe. Never thought about phone before! off to go cleaning esp since I use the bus every day

EvenBetter Sat 15-Dec-12 14:54:05

I caught it on Monday, it's now Saturday and all I've eaten in almost a week is some chips, a cereal bar and 100000 ice lollies, it's hell. My husband caught it yesterday.

About 10 people I know have had it and I too have seen piles of sick in the street this week, it's like a zombie apocalypse round here.
<whimpers>

careergirl Sat 15-Dec-12 17:54:12

Confess I am a bit worried as been diagnosed with neutropenia - just trying to bolster immune system with vit c maintaining good hygiene etc
that said remember big panic over swine flu, bird flu, SARS et al.... all media fuelled...

SledsImOn Sat 15-Dec-12 17:59:03

Careergirl I hope you will be Ok.

I do think that the amount of vomit on the streets is more to do with the party seacon than anything else tbh - no one who is ill will be out and about, probably, and we always get a lot of this especially at weekends towards the end of the student term...people are just out on the piss a lot more.

SledsImOn Sat 15-Dec-12 17:59:15

season, sorry

RandomMess Sat 15-Dec-12 18:02:51

I've had norovirus, the tummy cramps lasted for 2 weeks after the D&V stopped - however it seems to have boosted my immunity to all other D&V bugs doing the rounds grin

Was awful wouldn't wish it on anyone.

lljkk Sat 15-Dec-12 18:41:43

How do you know it was norovirus & not another vomiting bug? Was it cultured in a lab, Random? Or are the tummy cramps diagnostic?

RandomMess Sat 15-Dec-12 19:36:33

MIL caught it from holiday camp where it swept through, she came down with it 2 days after getting back, we got it 2 days later (having seen her inbetween time) we all had the same symptoms so very very very unlikely to have been some different.

MIL has never been so ill with D&V in her life - there were many people (the vulnerable) hospitalised at the holiday camp at first they though it was food poisoning but noro was confirmed.

Urgh it was hideous.

Two out of five of us have had it

Discolite Sun 16-Dec-12 11:24:13

Re: mobile phones - when we culture bacteria at my school I get the children to swab their mobiles. The results are pretty horrible and that's just bacteria!

As for Norovirus, like others have said it's down to hand washing, not touching your mouth, nose or eyes when out and about and keeping infected people isolated. I've had enteric viruses twice and as I cleaned all areas thoroughly and kept people away from me they didn't catch it.

I got Norovirus on Christmas Eve 4 years ago. That was fun hmm

Acekicker Sun 16-Dec-12 11:53:11

It's not always a matter of time, some people have a non-function version of the FUT2 gene which makes them immune to most norovirus strains (but more likely to get e-coli and flu).

Yep, I have the non-function version, when we found out DH declared that if DS ever gets norovirus (he and DH don't have the function version) he will go stay in a hotel and I can be the nurse grin.

ChristmasPickles Sun 16-Dec-12 13:21:50

Me again, sorry am worried as half our village seems to be down with this - I just wondered about hand towels, what's the best thing to do - change them daily?

EdithWeston Sun 16-Dec-12 13:26:33

Wear gloves when you go out. It means anything you touch won't be getting on you skin, and with gloves on, you're less likely to be putting your fingers in your mouth etc.

ElectricSoftParade Sun 16-Dec-12 13:33:14

Both DCs have been off school, on and off, for the past three weeks after catching some D&V bug. It has lingered and, possibly because they are already a weak, they have caught either the same thing again or another one. At one point 40% of the DCs at school were off.

Luckily, DH and I have not caught it (yet) but when DS was in hospital as a baby, the noro virus swept through the wards and we caught it then. I can honestly say I have never, ever felt so ill. It tooks at least 2 weeks before I felt relatively normal again.

All the best to those with it and hope you avoid it to all others.

Viviennemary Sun 16-Dec-12 13:34:06

Every year they try and terrify the life out of us with the latest killer disease that is going to wipe out half the population. Swine flu, bird flu, MRSA. I am just not listening any more. Hands over ears.

Stormfromeast Sun 16-Dec-12 19:25:14

Wash hands, and wash them properly.

colleysmill Sun 16-Dec-12 19:34:54

Well happily I don't think mine was noro smile as I am sooo much better today so just plain old winter d and v!

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sun 16-Dec-12 19:41:17

But the most common winter d&v bug is noro.

See nhs page

It differs in severity for people cos there is more than one noro strain just like there is more than one cold strain. Plus different people react differently.

TunipTheVegedude Sun 16-Dec-12 19:43:25

I don't remember winter vomiting virus being around when I was a kid in the 70s. Was it? There were plenty of bugs but it wasn't something you associated with the winter particularly - in the winter people just had lots of colds.

colleysmill Sun 16-Dec-12 19:51:24

Well now I just don't know! Could have been something I ate? My hand hygiene is pretty reasonable (but excellent at work!)

Oh well I have come through and will remain out of circulation for tomorrow

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sun 16-Dec-12 19:57:14

Tis funny how people tend to go into denial about having it! Glad you are feeling better Colley smile

fackinell Sun 16-Dec-12 20:50:02

IMO you know when you have Noro as opposed to usual D&V bugs. I caught it first time working in a Social care setting, where it killed an otherwise perfectly healthy, elderly lady sad and hospitalised another 2. I was in intense agony and had absolutely no bowel or stomach control. Projectile vomiting, the lot. I have it at least once a yr (last 5) and last time spend half an hr on the bathroom floor trying to get up. It starts (with me) having a 'swallowed a brick type feeling' in the night, usually, and from that second I know it's in the post. As a somewhat scarred veteran, I suggest starving the virus (other than water to prevent dehydration) for 24hrs then some kind of electrolyte balance fluid such as dioralyte the following day. The lack of salt and sugar after 24hrs made me shake and feel worse. I am not a doctor so proper medical advice is recommended over mine but this works for me. It is horrid, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy!

corblimeymadam Sun 16-Dec-12 21:11:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RandomMess Sun 16-Dec-12 22:05:12

I think it spreads more these days due to increased day to day mobility. Children don't go to their nearest schools, people mix socially more beyond nearest neighbourhood etc etc. Natural containment has disappeared.

sashh Mon 17-Dec-12 02:24:40

Obviously it's easier to do with an older DC but cleanliness is the key.

Easier if you have more than one bathroom and children not sharing a bedroom too.

EvenBetter Mon 17-Dec-12 14:51:56

I was reading about it online when I had it, it is airborne and highly contagious, one example I read was if someone who has it vomits in a toilet, even after the room has been cleaned the virus will still be there.

When I had it in 2010 everyone on the plane I was on would have caught it. Oooops! That was one of the worst days of my life, seriously.

So anti bac gels etc haven't effect because it's a virus, touching face isn't a good idea in winter anyway, but norovirus is airborne, so if you're going to get it you'll get it sad

On the plus side, for 14 weeks afterwards you'll be mostly immune to getting it again.

corblimeymadam Tue 18-Dec-12 19:26:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wesolutka Thu 27-Dec-12 17:58:33

OhYouMerry you say there are different strains of the virus going around, does this mean you can get it twice?

Anyone had it more than once this winter?

OhyouMerryLittleKitten Thu 27-Dec-12 19:05:14

Very sadly yes you can get it more than once. It's rather like flu or colds in that respect.

CakathecorpulentChristmasElf Fri 28-Dec-12 16:30:44

Belgianbun Do you live in Belgium by any chance? Wierd because I have seen no news coverage at all about gastric flu or norovirus over here (Brussels) and wonder if it (a) really is worse in UK than in continental Europe or (b) the British media is hyping it up? Getting quite worried about my bi-annual trip to England ...

corblimeymadam Fri 28-Dec-12 23:36:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProudAS Sat 29-Dec-12 14:08:53

I think the media have a lot to answer for. Norovirus is no more common or dangerous now than when I was a child so why do we suddenly need all this hysteria about it???

Yes it can be dangerous or occasionally fatal but so can crossing the road!

CakathecorpulentChristmasElf Sat 29-Dec-12 22:43:48

Phew BelgianBun and ProudAS - thanks for the reassurance! Really good to know that we don't have to be too vigilant

[Still washing my hands often and buying in bottles of Dettol just in case though!]

Wishing speedy recoveries to everyone out there who is suffering currently ...

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