According to the Centers for Disease Control there is a new outbreak on the rise. Unlike its cousin, influenza, Norovirus aka stomach flu, is a viral strand that cannot easily be killed but is far too easy to catch. If you’ve started that new regimen of exercise at a gym or other frequently visited health facility, here are some tips to keep this virus at bay.
This is a very communicable disease. It is spread from contact with surfaces or others who have been exposed to the virus or are currently experiencing symptoms of the virus. It can also be spread by food handlers coming into contact with things like shellfish or salad greens. If you are improving your diet be sure to wash thoroughly all produce items and ensure you cook shellfish properly before ingestion. It is not a bad idea to stop by your neighborhood Kroger or Walmart and purchase convenient travel size packages of disinfecting wipes to briefly wipe down items you come into contact with prior to utilizing shared equipment. While many gyms have fine janitorial staff, with this strand being more powerful than that encountered in the past you cannot be too careful.
According to Mayo Clinic one of the best ways to avoid becoming ill from this virus is to frequently wash your hands with soap and warm running water. You should rub your hands together for a minimum of 20 seconds (generally remember the first verse of the children’s song, Mary Had a Little Lamb), ensure you scrub all surfaces of the hand including the space between the fingers and the fingernails as well as nail beds. Rinse the hands well and try not to touch surfaces to turn off faucets (take a paper towel dry hands then turn off the faucet with the paper towel.) This new strand of stomach flu has proven resistant to antibacterial hand sanitizers, so do not surpass washing the hands with soap and water if possible. Just as the precaution with the influenza virus, if you feel ill or are showing symptoms like nausea, diarrhea or vomiting do yourself and others the favor of staying home. Keep yourself well hydrated until you recover. There is no standard treatment for this virus. Unfortunately, it is one that must pass with time. Until next time – good health to you!