A recent study has shown that germs on a door handle can spread within 2 to 4 hours to 40-60% of people touching the same surface.
Regular and thorough cleaning to NHS Infection Control standards will help to reduce the spread of germs due to cross-contamination.
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Viruses can ‘spread through office buildings within HOURS after just a single doorknob or table top is contaminated’
It takes just a few hours for a virus to spread through an office building, hotel or healthcare facility, according to a new study. US researchers found that when they contaminated a single doorknob or table top with a ‘tracer virus’ it spread within two to four hours.
Their findings showed 40 to 60 per cent of workers as well as visitors were infected after touching objects in the building.
In the study, researchers used tracer virus bacteriophage MS-2 which mimicked the nasty stomach bug norovirus, as it is similar in shape, size and is similarly resistant to disinfectants.
Norovirus, known as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common stomach bug in the UK and is highly contagious.
As part of the new study, the virus was placed on one or two commonly touched surfaces like a door know or table top at the beginning of the day in office buildings, conference room and a health care facility. After various time period between two to eight hours the scientists sampled 60 to 100 fomites, surfaces capable of carrying infections organisms and found that within two to four hours 40 to 60 percent of the foimites were contaminated with the virus.
Foimites included light switches, bed rails, table tops, countertops, push buttons, coffee pot handles, sink tap handles, door knobs, phones and computer equipment.
WHAT IS NOROVIRUS?
Norovirus, sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common stomach bug in the UK.
The virus is highly contagious. It can affect people of all ages and causes vomiting and diarrhoea.
There’s no specific cure for norovirus, so you have to let it run its course. It’s usually mild and shouldn’t last more than a couple of days.
The period from when you’re infected to when you start to show symptoms (the incubation period) usually lasts between 12 and 48 hours. You may be infectious to other people during this time.
Although having norovirus can be unpleasant, it’s not usually dangerous and most people make a full recovery within a couple of days without having to see their GP.