Infection Control Today

MAR 2019

ICT delivers to infection preventionists & their colleagues in the operating room, sterile processing/central sterile, environmental services & materials management, timely & relevant news, trends & information impacting the profession & the industry

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Page 12 of 28

12 ICT March 2019 Bug of the Month Don't Confuse Me With the Flu Norovirus If you've ever had a nasty bout of illness that others refer to as "stomach fu," perhaps you've made my acquaintance. After all, I'm the most common microbe that causes foodborne illness in the United States. As you fnd yourself embracing the porcelain throne and contemplating your symptoms, you may mistakenly think you have the fu, but don't give that dastardly virus credit; all responsibility for your misery falls on me. I can see why people think I'm the fu bug; after all, I can get you coming and going with sublime activities such as diarrhea and vomiting, with ample nausea, stomach pain, and in some cases, a fever, headache, or body aches. And don't think my hijinks can't compete with infuenza, as I can take down a signifcant number of people once exposed to my infectious personality. The CDC fatters me when they say I infect 19 million individuals annually; I think I sicken at least 21 million folks and counting. Make no mistake, I'm gunning for you, next. I'm out slumming any time of the year, but I really like to prowl from early winter through April, when I'm at the height of wreaking havoc with people's intestines. I work hard during that busy time, so I like to kick back when I can. That's why every year I look forward to stowing away on cruise ships; even though I'm uninvited, I fnd my way along handrails and door knobs and all kinds of ports of entry that unsuspecting vacationers provide for me. I can only laugh when dozens, if not hundreds, of people fail to wash their hands while at sea, and then wonder what they did to deserve a visit from me. What can I say, I enjoy ruining people's holidays! But, it gets even better; when those sick passengers go to the hospital, they can pass me along faster than a do-si-do square dance at a country hoe-down. If you haven't fgured it out by now, I'm very contagious. When I infect you, you can shed billions of virus particles in your vomit and stool, so I love it when folks cozy up to one another and share those particles — the more the merrier. Wise healthcare workers have learned to avoid me by washing their hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially after using the toilet or handling any potentially infectious material. They also are diligent about cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, especially if they have come in contact with vomitus or Sponsored by GOJO Industries diarrhea. If you want to wipe me out, then be sure to immediately use a bleach-based or other hospital-grade cleaner/disinfectant as directed on the product label. I like to hang out in underwear and bed linens, so be sure to wash these items with detergent and hot water at the maximum available cycle length, then machine dry them at the highest heat setting, and handle these patient items carefully when sending to the facility laundry. Or not — it's up to you. Whether cruise ship, coffee house or a neglected corner of the hospital, I like to lurk and lie in wait for my next victim. Who am I? ©2019. GOJO Industries, Inc. All rights reserved. | #27493 Powerful Germ Kill, PURELL Peace of Mind. PURELL ® Surface Disinfectant kills 36 microorganisms in 30 seconds or less, including MRSA, VRE, and Norovirus

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