Handwashing champion Hero Joe showed visitors and patients how to clean up this Halloween at Heartlands Hospital.
Hospital infection control experts joined forces with hand hygiene company Gojo on 31 October to host a day of activity with mascot, Hero Joe, to educate visitors on how best to ‘beat the bugs’.
With keeping hands clean known to be the best and easiest way to stop germs and winter bugs spreading; Joe and the team used this spookiest of days to spread the word to passers-by at the Hospital.
Heartlands visitor, Dave Foster from Hollywood, Worcestershire, said: “Activities like this are important to help prevent the spread of infection. I think most people know they should wash their hands, but they don’t always see it as greatly important. Having Hero Joe here today is a reminder of the significance of taking care not to spread germs, especially in the Hospital environment.”
Diane Tomlinson, lead infection control and prevention nurse, said: “With winter approaching, sickness bugs, also known as norovirus, are now more active than ever in the community, so chances of catching one are high. Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to kill germs and keep yourself well. You should always clean your hands to remove any germs before eating and before preparing food.
“The problem with norovirus is that symptoms don’t usually occur until 12-48 hours after infection, with the sudden feeling of nausea, which can be followed by projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea.
“If you or family member has recently suffered from sickness and diarrhoea, you will still be highly contagious for 48 hours after the symptoms disappear. Until this time, contact with others, food preparation and Hospital visits should be avoided.”
If you are worried and think you may have norovirus, phone your GP or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.