Preventing influenza, norovirus can protect kids, keep adults at - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Preventing influenza, norovirus can protect kids, keep adults at work

The norovirus can cause vomiting and dirrahea. (Source: CDC.gov/YouTube) The norovirus can cause vomiting and dirrahea. (Source: CDC.gov/YouTube)

(RNN) – Winter viruses often spread quickly among people in close quarters, when one person infected with influenza or norovirus can spread it to several more.

Preventing and treating viruses is an important step toward minimizing time missed from work or school. That means it's valuable to become familiar with the hygiene routines and treatment options before getting sick.

Influenza, or simply the flu, is well-known to Americans and combating it takes a combination of annual vaccinations and normal hygiene like hand washing and sanitizing tabletops and desk surfaces.

That doesn’t make it any less inconvenient and sometimes dangerous. At least eight children have died from flu-related symptoms this 2016-2017 season, according to a CDC report released on Friday.

In that same report, 10 states were listed at the highest level of influenza activity: Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The CDC says vaccination is the most important step toward preventing the flu.

The norovirus is frequently called the “stomach flu,” but that’s a misnomer. While the virus does wreak havoc on the stomach, it is not related to influenza, and there’s no vaccine to fight it.

It’s a gastrointestinal virus, and it’s a lot harder to stave off than the common flu. It’s also more contagious, making it particularly fiendish in schools, cruise ships, tight office spaces and hospitals.

The CDC does offer some tips for fighting the virus.

The virus causes vomiting and diarrhea, so washing hands after bathroom visits or changing diapers is more important than ever. The virus can linger in stool or vomit after symptoms cease, so maintaining a rigorous hand-washing routine is important.

Viruses also use the kitchen as a conduit. It’s important to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables, and, because the virus has some resistance to heat, people should not rely on quick steaming methods to cook seafood.

Infected individuals should not cook for others.

Soiled and dirty laundry should be washed immediately. Any clothing that may be a carrier of the virus should be handled with rubber gloves, washed with detergent for the maximum length of time and machine dried.

The CDC does not expect either virus to be break seasonal averages.

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