As New Norovirus Strain Spreads, Are Your Customers Protected?
According to the CDC, a new strain of the norovirus is circulating in the US. As though a tougher flu season isn’t bad enough, the norovirus (which is often confused with the flu) is adding to the uptick in illnesses this winter with the new strain (GII.4 Sydney) being held responsible for the outbreak that occurred on the vacation cruise line Queen Mary 2, as well as 58% of all norovirus outbreaks in December.
Norovirus, often referred to as “stomach flu,” is an illness unrelated to influenza that attacks the intestinal tract with symptoms such as painful inflammation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Historically, the GII strains of norovirus are associated with increased severity of these symptoms. A highly contagious illness, it only takes about 10 viral particles to spread the infection, which is why it is predominately spread among people in closed quarters such as nursing homes, schools, cruise ships, and workplaces. There is currently no cure and no vaccine for norovirus, but it leads to about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths in the US alone each year- meaning the only cure is prevention through disinfection.
While there are several options for surface disinfection, a perfect example of a multipurpose disinfectant/cleaner would be Spray Nine, which kills a variety of bacteria and viruses including norovirus, in less than 30 seconds.
Norovirus is also frequently associated with food poisoning. While it isn’t technically a result of food poisoning, it is easily spread when an infected person prepares food due to the nature of the virus. Norovirus is spread through fecal matter and vomit, and the disease continues to spread for up to three days after symptoms subside, making it easy for anyone recovering from the virus to spread it to others when preparing food.
This is easily avoided by frequent handwashing, according to the CDC, as well as avoiding foodhandling altogether until several days after symptoms subside. Washing food prep surfaces and laundry thoroughly, along with washing raw foods should also help tremendously in preventing norovirus from spreading. While it is yet unclear if the GII.4 strain will produce stronger symptoms than the traditional norovirus, it is clear that this aggressive strain has a tendency to spread fast.
Schools need to be prepared to protect children and staff, as do long-term care facilities and lodging establishments. Anywhere that has people in closed quarters are at risk for norovirus– more so than the average population. The rule of thumb is, if you have symptoms, stay home and rest. As for your customers, advise them that cleanliness is close to healthiness! Cleaners such as Spray Nine feature a quatenary ammonia mixture that sanitizes and disinfects against viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other disease causing germs in as little as 30 seconds, while leaving no dangerous residue behind.
Help your customers protect themselves and their customers against norovirus this season with the easy steps in the image above, compliments of the CDC. And, for all of your cleaning and disinfecting resources, visit the Literature by Vendor section of the blog to download PDFs, sell sheets, and segmented market brochures to ensure that your customers won’t fall victim to this winter’s flurry of illnesses and infections.
© Copyright RJ Schinner, All rights Reserved. Written For: DSR Sales Support Blog