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      Avoiding the Winter Bugs

      Pediatrician Dr. George Bengston shared tips for avoiding winter viruses.

      Norovirus (stomach flu):Spreads rapidly in large groups living together (dorms, ships, nursing homes). Flush of a toilet can aerosolize the virus!
      Pretty tenacious:
      Can live for 12 hours on hard surfaces, 12 days on fabric, months in water
      Virus is shed for WEEKS after symptoms subside
      As with flu, the very young, very old and debilitated are at greatest risk
      Prevention: HAND WASHING
      Soap and water best.
      Alcohol doesn't work well because virus lacks "lipid envelope"
      Chlorine bleach solution works well for surfaces

      Influenza (flu): Get a flu shot. It is highly contagious, spread via respiratory secretions. ***Encourage kids to keep their hands away from their faces*** Keep surfaces clean and dry