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Warning: This season’s winter sickness outbreak has now begun

Warning: This season’s winter sickness outbreak has now begun

Sweden

Public Health Authority monitoring shows the continuation of winter vomiting disease this season. “This means that the spread of infection is expected to increase in the near future, both in the community and in health care,” the authority wrote in a press release.

Statistics from the country’s laboratories and searches on 1177.se show that the spread of winter illness has gained momentum in the community, and that the season has now begun. Cases of the disease can occur throughout the year, but a significant increase in winter sickness is usually observed between November and April.

– It cannot be said to what extent the spread will be. Last year we saw a prolonged outbreak of infection, when relatively many cases were reported late in the season. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were very few cases of winter sickness, but recent seasons have been more active than before the pandemic. It remains to be seen whether this trend will continue, says Else Ydering, an epidemiologist at the Norwegian Public Health Agency.

Winter sickness is highly contagious

The virus that causes winter sickness is highly contagious and can spread between people and from objects in the environment. Good hand hygiene is one of the most important measures to protect against infection, both in healthcare and in the rest of society. By following good hygiene procedures, the risk of infection among hospitalized patients can be reduced.

– Elsie Yedring says: – Your risk of getting sick and spreading the infection to others is reduced when you wash your hands with soap and water.

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Clean hands very carefully

People with winter vomiting sickness or who suspect infection, for example after caring for a sick person, should be extra careful about hand hygiene and should not handle food that others will eat. People with symptoms should limit physical contact with others as much as possible.

It is also important that there is an opportunity to wash hands in places where many people gather, for example in schools, nurseries and other public environments to prevent the spread of infection. Paper towels, not cloth towels, should be used in workplaces, schools and nurseries.

Most types of hand sanitizers do not have sufficient effect against the winter vomiting virus. Often there are large amounts of viruses that need to be washed out. Therefore, thorough cleaning with soap and water is recommended.

Facts/Winter vomiting disease

  • Winter sickness is caused by calicivirus. The virus is highly contagious and a sick person can excrete large amounts of the virus in stool and through vomit.
  • The virus can live for a long time in the environment and spread from textiles, for example.
  • The incubation period is 12-48 hours. Symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, and fever. You can also be a carrier of the virus without having symptoms.
  • The virus can spread in different ways: through direct or indirect contact with infected people, through food that has been handled and contaminated by someone who is sick or has recently become ill, through raw seafood or vegetables contaminated with sewage.

Photo: Freebeck

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