Care home gets the all-clear after norovirus scare

A care home in the Cumbrian town of Whitehaven has now been given the all-clear by environmental health officers after five of its residents appeared to be the latest victims of the norovirus bug that is sweeping the area.

The alarm was raised when five residents of the Bethel House care home seemed to have symptoms of the highly contagious norovirus bug. However, afters tests were carried out, norovirus was ruled out and the illness was put down to a “typical sickness and diarrhoea bug”. The home, which has 60 residents, has now been given the all-clear.

Infection control is hugely important in care environments. As there are often large numbers in relatively close quarters, many of whom are elderly or vulnerable, bugs can spread very quickly and cause potentially life-threatening illness. It is recommended that all care staff complete infection control care training courses to learn how to prevent the spread of infection.

Dr Ken Lamden, a consultant in communicable disease at the Cumbria and Lancashire branch of Public Health England, also offered some advice, saying:

“Good hygiene is the key to avoiding infection and it is particularly important to wash the hands thoroughly after using the toilet, before and after handling or preparing food and before eating.”