Whilst the queen recovers from gastroenteritis it may be time to evaluate the hygiene standards in your home or workplace. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a sterile environment. Bacteria is everywhere, but there are steps which can be taken to reduce the risk of contracting an infection such as gastroenteritis, an infection of the stomach and large intestine causing vomiting and an upset stomach.
According to the NHS about one in five people are affected every year with gastroenteritis and an average of 190 people will die, mostly those over the age of 65. The norovirus, which affected a great number of people at the end of last year, is one of the common causes of gastroenteritis. However, the nasty stomach bug can also be contracted by food poisoning or transferred through poor hygiene.
Maintaining good hygiene standards in the home or in a commercial kitchen is essential for keeping illness at bay. Mice are known to spread infections such as Salmonella, Hantavirus, Lyme disease and Weil’s disease. On the underside of mice, the wet fur soaked in urine can transmit bacteria and viruses to work surfaces, table tops or anywhere the rodent has climbed.
A cockroach can carry disease organisms such as Salmonella and E-coli which can be spread through saliva and excreta. Touching pigeon faeces and then your mouth or eyes can also make you ill through food poisoning.
Handwashing is also crucial to stop the prevention of infection. For example, if someone does not wash their hands after visiting the bathroom, any viruses or bacteria on their hands will be transferred to whatever they touch, such as a keyboard, cups or food. It is via this manner that viral infections and bacteria can spread.
In high risk places like kitchens and hospitals the use of a sanitiser such as UltraProtect could be applied to provide an unwelcoming environment for bacteria. UltraProtect provides continuous protection for up to six hours on hands, and up to 24 hours on hard surfaces.
If you are unfortunate enough to contract gastroenteritis rehydration is crucial. The NHS recommends to drink at least 2 litres (3.5 pints) of water a day, plus 200ml (a third of a pint) of water after every episode of diarrhoea.