Gastroenteritis outbreak: switch from soap and water washing to gels is “partly to blame”

Child washing their hands with a Teal Kiddiwash postable sink

Hand sanitiser not effective against norovirus and other gastro bugs warning

People around the globe have been using hand sanitisers as a quick fix during the current coronavirus pandemic, which has prompted a stark warning in the face of a rapidly increasing number of viral gastroenteritis cases in the Australian state of Victoria, according to a recent report on The Guardian website.

The problem is that people are using hand sanitisers “instead of – rather than as well as” traditional soap and water washing according to the report’s author Melissa Davey.

This in turn has caused associated problems with a viral gastroenteritis outbreak with the dependence on gels having “in part been blamed” for the upturn in cases.

The reason for this is simple reveals Davey, who states that alcohol based sanitisers are of comparatively little use in the face of 389 instances so far in early years and childcare facilities this year. She quotes Dr Bruce Bolam Victoria’s executive director for communicable disease:-

“While alcohol-based sanitiser is helpful in tackling coronavirus, it is much less effective against bugs such as norovirus.”

Indeed Dr Bolam is a firm advocate of “proper” hand washing, saying “A good old-fashioned scrub with soap and warm water is the best way to remove the gastro virus from our hands and prevent passing it on to infect others.”

“No point” in sanitising dirty hands

The article’s already convincing argument is further reinforced, courtesy of Professor of infectious diseases Peter Collignon from the Australian National University. He states that applying sanitisers to dirty hands is pointless.

‘”If you have soiled hands, you need to wash them with soap and water before sanitising,” he said. “Alcohol doesn’t work as well as soap and water for killing norovirus as it does for other viruses.”‘

Swapping handwashing for sanitiser partly to blame for Victoria’s gastro outbreak »

Farm shop staff washing hands with a Teal portable sink
Farm shop staff washing hands with a Teal portable sink

Soap and water hand washing – wherever it’s needed!

Teal produces a comprehensive range of mobile sinks and portable basins for every type of hand washing situation for use by anyone who needs to wash their hands effectively, whether they’re in an office environment, temporary accommodation or out in the field on a daily basis.

There are vehicle mounted, wall mounted, mains powered and free standing hand wash stations as well as mobile sinks for use with pre-heated hot water.

The Teal range of mobile sinks includes the MediWashHygienius and Hygienius ProWashBigSynkSuper StalletteTEALwashHandeman XtraCompact Classic and WashStand and the new HandSpa.

Teal’s Australia and New Zealand distributor »

Teal’s representative for Australia and New Zealand is Transplumb, supplier of portable sinks, basins and hand washing stations.