Here's why..... I'm not sure if you saw, but right here in Anne Arundel County, the Broadneck Peninsula to be specific, the Severn River Middle School has the norovirus. That's right, the norovirus. We all hear about the norovirus on the news as something cruise ship passengers get, and frankly I sometimes think, they're sick in warm paradise. Have you seen our wintery weather we get here? And they got a little sick in 80 degree sunshine? Here's where I tune out again.
But norovirus isn't just on cruise ships. Some little middle schooler had the virus and went to school. Did you know that after the person has those flu like symptoms, their bodies are still shedding the virus for up to 3 days after? So that poor kid was sick, felt better the next day and their parents sent him to school. All the while he was there he was infecting all his class mates.
Kids at the school were calling in sick with it on Wednesday which was a delayed reporting day. Because they noticed the outbreak, the school disinfected the school on Thursday when they were all off. But by that point, it was too late. By Friday, more than 1/2 of the school called in sick with the virus. So it's not just a cruise ship thing! And how do you prevent it? Washing your hands!
Yes, it's that simple. Think of all the things you touch every single day. When you go out in public, your hand on the shopping cart is not the first ones to touch it that day! I can make myself a little grossed out just thinking how infested our world is.
If you have the virus on your hands, as long as you aren't touching your eyes, nose or mouth you can be fine! That's why it's so important to wash your hands before you eat.... any germs on your hands get transferred to the food you eat, and when you ingest it, you just got yourself sick.
Now once I get to this point, I pull out my inner parent. Kids don't wash their hands like they're supposed to! Sometimes you get lucky if the little ones throw their hands under the water. So it made me wonder what's the minimum requirement to be effective?
I did find that it doesn't matter if the water is warm or cold, as long as you're washing with water AND soap it will be effective. But what about hand sanitizer? Hand sanitizer is effective against reducing viruses, but sadly, it's not effective on Norovirus.
And in case you haven't missed it, each link in green leads you to an article explaining the findings.
Bottom line is.... I know we've all heard it before, but washing your hands with soap and water (hot or cold) is the most effective way of preventing the spread of things. Hand sanitizer does work but not on everything. And if you're ever at one of my open houses, you are always going to be more than welcome to use the sink to wash your hands! Stay healthy Annapolis!