Raise your hand if the stomach bug has already reached your home. It has hit households across the nation (at least according to my Facebook newsfeed). The only GOOD thing is that it seems to be a quick turn around. I contracted it about 4 days before Christmas. The actual sickness lasted about 12 hours and a few days of watching what I ate (or just not being quite up to eating normally). A week later, my daughter contracted it. We were super lucky that we were with family with a household of people to step in and help and that we both started first thing in the morning and then feeling better by dinner. There were no late night episodes or lost sleep. The three other people in the house did not contract it, and it’s safe to say that if they do, it is not from us.
So if you are one of the lucky ones, let’s look at some ways to AVOID the stomach bug. Then, we will look at some great things to have on hand in case this nasty bug hits your home.
Ways to AVOID:
- Grape juice. 100% NO SUGAR ADDED grape juice (or drop a few drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract in some water). Drink it immediately if you have someone near you with the stomach flu– BEFORE symptoms. If you are already showing symptoms, it will just create a more colorful scene later. The juice works by changing the pH level in your intestinal tract causing the virus to be unable to multiply. It is also full of Vitamin C and antioxidants to flush out and kill the virus. The rule seems to be: drink it 3 times a day for a few days and you should be in the clear.
- Wash hands! An obvious step but one many of us probably forget to do. Not the hand sanitizer stuff either– real soap and water. That is your best defense. The CDC conducted a study back in 2011 that showed a staff that used hand sanitizer were six times more likely to contract the norovirus over their soap and water washing counterparts.
- Stick anything used by the sick in the dishwasher and don’t hand wash utensils and plates. Let the appliances in your kitchen do the heavy hitting. (Now I know some don’t have this luxury, but if you do, put that dishwasher to use.)
- Wash clothes at the highest setting possible. Clothes can harbor these germs for longer than we would like (the washing machine is somewhat the culprit) so wash anything that came in contact with vomit or stool at the HIGHEST temperature that you can.
- Clean all those small surfaces- door handles, banisters, keyboards, iPads, phones, remotes. Anything that a germy hand can touch, wipe it down!
- Open the windows. Even on the coldest days, you can crack open a window to allow the air to circulate around so it doesn’t sit stale in your house.
Get THROUGH the virus:
Maybe you didn’t quite get out of contracted the virus despite your best efforts. Even if you don’t have it, these are some great things to have on hand in case it does make it into your house.
- THESE bags!! My dear friend Shannon over on Monday Morning Mischief referenced them in her blog. A little while later, after this post, she was very happy to have these on hand in the car as they were put to good use.
- Disinfecting wipes! You can use the hospital grade wipes called Caviwipes. These are super DUPER aggressive. These are the ones that will kill the virus. If you are not quite ready for these, any wipes are better than nothing. There are a ton of options from Babyganics to Lysol, They just are not guaranteed to kill the virus.
- If all else fails keep disposable gloves near you at all times to avoid spreading your germs.
- And if you are suffering from a fever, grab these fever reducing strips for kids or ones for adults to allow your body to use the fever to fight the virus but still giving you a little relief.
The stomach bug is NO joke. Do what you can to avoid it, but know you are also know you are in good company if you didn’t.