Hand washing warning to care homes as norovirus cases reach ten year high

Hand washing warning to care homes as norovirus cases reach ten year high

Highly infectious illness affecting many over 65 year olds

Outbreaks of norovirus have reached “the highest point seen at this time of year in over a decade”, according to a recent report on the Evening Standard website. Worryingly, says the article, “most” cases that have come to light have e affected people over 65, with “increasing numbers” of them being located in UK care homes.

Author Daniel Keane obtained the statistics from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) which stated that in the week leading up to 19th February resulted in a considerable increase which was “more than double the five-season average before Covid-19.”

Quoted statistics include 547 hospital beds occupied by adults with the illness on average last week – which represents a threefold increase on the same time last year.

Stay away with symptoms – and wash your hands

Keane quotes the Surveillance Lead in the Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety (One Health) Division of UKHSA. Dr Lesley Larkin warned everyone to stay at home when experiencing norovirus and not venturing out for a period of 48 hours after the last of the symptoms have subsided. It is particularly important not to visit anyone in a care home setting during this period.

Dr Larkin also warned against relying on hand gels to keep the illness at bay. The rather more traditional hand hygiene method is far more effective.

“Regular hand washing is really important to help stop the spread of this bug, but remember, alcohol gels do not kill off norovirus so washing with soap and warm water is best.”

Norovirus cases in UK ‘at highest seasonal level in a decade’ »

A CliniWash mobile handwashing sink in a care home
A CliniWash mobile handwashing station in a care home

Mobile hand washing units for care homes and home care »

The units can provide back-up support for existing hand washing facilities, can be used in rest areas for residents, or in reception hallways for visitors and staff. 

Images (above) show Teal’s new CliniWash mobile handwash station. Wheel it to anywhere it’s needed!

They are easy to use and as they can be placed at point of need are ideal for residents, who may have restricted mobility, allowing them to have access to warm water in their own rooms.

How to choose the correct mobile sink »