Bring holiday cheer, not norovirus, into care settings

As North Carolinians (and others) get into the festive season, kids (like mine) are visiting retirement residences and nursing homes to bring holiday cheer.

And they also might be bringing norovirus.Stop-norovirus-warning-sign

Today I brought Sam (below, exactly as shown) to a local care center so he and his preschool classmates could sing carols to residents.

Heightened to noro season and control measures I looked for messages around ill visitors. I didn’t see any but I did see some off-the-shelf hand sanitizer that wouldn’t do much to the non-enveloped virus.

In related news, BBC is reporting that Scottish hospitals are asking visitors who have recently been ill to stay away. Something that I’ll suggest to Sam’s preschool organizers.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) said people ignoring the advice could end up passing on symptoms to patients.

FullSizeRenderThe appeal is part of wider attempts to minimise the effects of norovirus in hospitals across the area.

Visitors are also being reminded about the “importance of hand hygiene when entering and leaving” hospitals.

Prof Craig Williams, lead infection control doctor at NHS GGC, said: “We understand that when a relative or friend is in hospital you want to offer them comfort and support by visiting them.

“Unfortunately visiting a loved one if you have experienced sickness and diarrhoea in the last 48 hours can have consequences for the person you are visiting. They would potentially catch whatever infection you have leading to their health being compromised.

“We are asking people not to visit friends or relatives in hospital if they have experienced any sickness or diarrhoea in the last 48 hours.”

Prof Williams added: “Norovirus is particularly prevalent during the winter and it’s not unusual to see this type of virus in the community.