Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Norovirus - a warning


W
e’re on “defcon one” in our house, as my husband would put it. The norovirus! So far I’m the only one who’s gone through the vomit and, ahem... the other unmentionable.

Mr Clean keeps nagging me to disinfect the place when I’m on my own. I keep telling him it’s been done, but he’s on my case and with good reason.

According to the UK NHS website, this 2012 outbreak is 64% higher than it was this time last year. It is also saying that for each person who has a confirmed case of norovirus, there are 288 unreported cases.

So, this morning I got out the vital Marigold gloves, dumped some bleach in a bowl of hot water and went through the house again. Anything fingers might have touched, especially little ones, got a rubbing down.

So that’ll be ALL the door handles, the light switches, the kettle, kitchen cupboard door knobs, our dining room chairs – you know, the bit you grip on to when you pull them out to sit on – the taps, cistern handles...

Oh, and I’ve just received an email from Mr Clean to disinfect the car door handles and steering wheel!

Having gone through the debilitating bug and having it take up residence in my insides, I’m REALLY keen for our household to avoid it.

Thank goodness I had help when I went through it. Mr Clean to the rescue. He arranged to leave a little later for work to take the kids to school and came home a little earlier to pick them up. Then continued to work from his desk in the study. Boy, was HE knackered.

So all you working mums, and anyone else who is not going out to work, hear this... YOU DON’T WANT IT!

It crossed my mind, as I heaved over a handy sick bowl at the top of the stairs, how awful it is for anyone who is coping with this on their own. I’ve been in their shoes before in another life but never as a mother.

As I lifted my head from my pool of vomit I quietly congratulated myself on carrying the plastic basin with me as I walked around the house ready for just such an emergency.

Then I heard Mr Clean drag my transfixed six year old away from the bottom of the stairs to the lounge with the words: “Stop looking and come in here.”

Just 24 hours later, I was back to normal and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

Then I took the kids to an amateur performance of Aladdin on Ice and watched aghast as at the end of the show the whole ice-skating troop did a lap of honour around the perimeter of the rink high fiving the kids in the audience watching on.

There must have been about 50 of them slapping hands. My children loved it but as soon as we got back to the car I dug out the wetwipes and made them clean their hands.
Joking apart, we’re now getting our children to wash their hands with soap the moment they come home and I might get them to take off their school uniforms and put them straight in the wash.

People who are going through chemotherapy are throughout the year routinely told that their households need to take these kinds of precautions to avoid infection so I don’t see why we shouldn’t take notice.

And when I next do the weekly shopping I’m going to take the advice of a friend who says she always washes her hands the moment she gets home because she’s been gripping onto that shopping trolley!

On the plus side, the NHS website says that if you catch the norovirus you will be immune to it for 14 weeks afterwards. After this time you can catch it again. Oh. What. Joy! The site has lots of useful advice about how to look after yourself if you get it so check it out.

Hey prestopeople. Just off to don the Marigolds again while I disinfect the car!

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