Winter vomiting virus

Though the winder has <<so far>> been uncharacteristically mild, outbreaks of winter vomiting virus have been as frequent as ever.

Hospitals have reported a substantial number of outbreaks, and these have been noted in nursing homes also. Must of the waste that results from vomiting and diarrhoea will enter the sewer, usually via the bed pan washer or macerator. However, much will find its way to orange clinical waste sacks.

Cases of winter vomiting virus in otherwise fit and healthy individuals are not uncommon. This bug favours the old and infirm, but can cause infection in others. Clinical waste  handlers have not been immune, with several cases occurring among the various roundsmen collecting waste sacks from hospitals and nursing homes that had been experiencing outbreaks of infection.

How many more cases occur is something of an unknown. There is no reporting process and it is only through word of mouth that we can assess the scale of this particular problem.

Armed with that information it is possible to consider the need for improvements in PPE items, in the provision of hand hygiene facilities, and in the adequacy of containers for clinical wastes.

Please do let us know, in strict confidence, if you or your colleagues have suffered an episode of winter vomiting virus infection.



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