Norovirus cases in care homes rising as hand washing guidance is given

Mobile sinks can deliver effective hand washing where needed in care homes

Warning not to rely on hand gels is issued

There is speculation that a new strain of norovirus called G.II.17 has contributed around 17 percent of the unusually high cases of the illness in the UK in the last month or so, with the “relatively poor weather” possibly also being a contributing factor. Be that as it may, there is concern that the “larger than usual” number of norovirus instances have been exacerbated by a sharp increase in care homes, according to a recent report on the Daily Mail website

Over 1,200 cases were recorded during the month of April according to the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA), wrote article co-authors Milo Pope and Emily Stearn.

The largest number of lab-confirmed cases, according to the report, affected over 65s in care homes and social care area settings.

The importance of hand washing

It is for this reason that people displaying symptoms of norovirus should not visit friends or relatives in care homes, hospitals or other medical settings, warned a norovirus epidemiologist at the UKHSA, Amy Douglas. She also advocated robust hand hygiene practices at all times in these facilities – and that hand gels should not be relied upon as an effective method of controlling the illness spread.

Ms Douglas revealed that “Washing your hands with soap and warm water and using bleach-based products to clean surfaces will also help stop infections from spreading.” She continued,

“Alcohol gels do not kill norovirus so don’t rely on these alone.”

Similarly the NHS states in its Norovirus (vomiting bug) guidance

“Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels do not kill norovirus.”

The emergence of the G.II.17 was covered in the Daily Mail article with an interview with a member of the Government’s vaccine advisory panel, at the University of Bristol. Professor Adam Finn was quoted as highlighting the potential problems of a previously unencounteres strain of the illness.

“Sometimes we see emergence of new strains of norovirus against which people have little or no immunity from previous infections.”

He was however, optimistic about recent progress on prevention, stating that “There are also vaccines on the horizon with one about to announce results of a phase three trial”.

Care home outbreaks push norovirus cases in the UK 75 per cent higher than usual »

Hygienius is popular mobile handwash unit for care homes
The Hygienius is popular mobile handwash unit for care homes

Mobile hand hygiene facilities for care facilities

The mobile handwash units 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.

The Teal care home range of mobile sinks

The Teal Hygienius portable hand wash unit for the beauty industry

The Hygienius

Highly portable and needing no plumbing, it requires only a 13 amp power socket for operation.

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The Teal CliniWash is a highly mobile handwash unit


Highly mobile – smooth running lockable castors enable speedy deployment.

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Teal Super Stallette portable hand wash unit for the beauty industry

Super Stallette

Portable and practical. Hot water hand washing facilities wherever they are needed.

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The Teal HandSpa portable hand wash unit for beauty businenesses

The HandSpa

The HandSpa will need no mains water service or drainage connections.

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Teal’s care home hand wash units include the HandSpa as well as the mobile CliniWashHygienius and Super Stallette.

Download the product PDF leaflets