Washing your hands properly is important to fight the flu - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Washing your hands properly is important to fight the flu

Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

Washing your hands is a no brainer, especially this year when the flu has affected so many people. We do it every day. But do we do it long enough?

But now, there's something new to worry about, Norovirus.

"Most people might come in contact with this virus and if they are sick with it they might be one to two days and then they'll get over it," said Stephanie Ayers-Millsap with Jefferson County Health Department.

Ayers-Millsap said Norovirus has been around for years and symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. This year though a different strand has made itself known and there is no antibiotic treatment.

"It's very important that people who are sick stay at home or got to the doctors as well as food. Be sure you're cooking your foods at proper temperatures," Ayers-Millsap.

The virus can be spread from person to person, from contaminated food and by touching surfaces that a sick person has touched..

Jacques Smith just heard about it. As a teacher to eight and nine year olds it puts her on high alert.

"A lot of kids tend not to wash their hands every time they go to the restroom and they love to touch and squeeze on teachers," said Smith.

News of the Norovirus is also new to Smith's friend Shawntrell Body.

"It's kind of scary. You don't know and you're constantly in fear of other things but now you have to be fretful of something else you have totally no clue about," said Body.

As soon Smith and her friend Body heart about the Norovirus they bee-lined it to the bathroom to wash their hands.

Experts say that the proper amount of time it takes you to sing the "Happy Birthday" song is the time you should take scrubbing.

Also, if you're thinking hand sanitizer will do the trick think again. Experts said it's not that effective against the virus. If you have to use it, make sure you wash your hands as soon as possible. Also, make sure you clean your counters with a solution containing bleach.

Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly