Prepping a Population for an Epidemic: Norovirus Posters

I stumbled across these posters by chance and wanted to share them here as I think they are a fantastic example of how we could have been more forward thinking this winter in light of the Norovirus Pandemic. Australian Health Authorities knew very well that a Norovirus epidemic was on it’s way last summer. The gastro pandemic was packing a real punch in Europe and was already making the headlines here as early as January. I started Stop Gastro Spread then, an attempt to remind the community of ways that we could avoid the expected epidemic by sticking to governmental guidelines that recommend staying at home for 48 hours post last symptom. Who is actually aware that you need to stay at home for 48 hours after your last symptom of gastro? No one I have educated! (They know now though!)  Everyday someone will google ‘how long to stay off work after gastro’ and will then get led here, where I hope my blog posts help them!

So why couldn’t we have done more to try to prevent the gastro epidemic? I wrote an email to NSW Health (never heard back) and to the Minister of Health, Tanya Plibersek about ways we could prepare the population here, focusing mainly on unifying return back to work/school guidelines between states (some states still on say to wait 24 hours before returning which is out of place within the context of international guidelines). The reply from the Department of Health and Ageing was personal (written specifically for me) but I felt, didn’t appear as concerned about the outbreak as I was. You can read more about what the letter said here. But I must say, I was very impressed to hear back from the DoHA so quickly, with such a specific response.

These posters I found via the CDC (website below) in the USA ,are quite useful I think and something like this could have been used here if we were to really  try to prepare our population for the gastro epidemic. How awesome would it be if posters like these could have been put up around communities and printed in local and national newspapers?

See the posters here:
http://www.disinfect-for-health.org/resources

This is where I found them:

http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/preventing-infection.html

I’m not familiar with the group ‘disinfect for health’ but I intend to have a good look at their website and tweets now I’ve found them. As you know, I’m a militant hand washer and promote hand washing in my local community. I don’t however encourage the use of disinfectants as part of a normal daily routine for normal, healthy people.

For more information on Gastro, stomach flu, tummy bugs, whatever you like to call it, have a look at the Gastro Category.

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