Businesses are being advised that Touchpoint Shield™ antimicrobial coating can help reduce the threat of norovirus after new figures showed a three-fold increase in cases of illness caused by the winter vomiting bug.
The advanced durable coating which uses silver ion technology to destroy viruses and bacteria reduces the risk of transmission of potentially harmful micro-organisms responsible for stomach bug outbreaks.
Help prevent outbreaks
The advice comes as Pubic Health England issued an alert, warning the public, care and education organisations and businesses about the increase in vomiting and gastrointestinal illness caused by norovirus.
Chris MacDonald, Strategic Business Director of SafeGroup, which has launched Touchpoint Shield™, said: “Public Health England quite rightly is advising that good basic hygiene will help prevent norovirus illness outbreaks.
“Touchpoint Shield™ now provides care providers and other businesses a new weapon to tackle these very disruptive, unpleasant and, in worst cases, potentially deadly outbreaks of winter vomiting.
“Touchpoint Shield™ antimicrobial surface coating continuously destroys norovirus, SARS-Cov-2, which causes COVID-19, and a range of potentially harmful bacteria, reducing the risk of these pathogens being transmitted from person to person.”
Big increase in illnesses
Routine surveillance carried out by Public Health England shows the number of outbreaks caused by the vomiting bug increased in the 5-week period from the end of May to July, particularly in early-year school and nursery settings.
In the last five weeks, 154 outbreaks have been reported, compared with an average of 53 outbreaks reported over the same time period in the previous five years.
The overall number of laboratory confirmed norovirus reports across all age groups has also increased to levels seen in previous years before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting bug, has been at lower levels than normal throughout the pandemic with less opportunity to spread between people in the community.
Symptoms include sudden onset of nausea, projectile vomiting and diarrhoea but can also include a high temperature, abdominal pain and aching limbs.
Antiviral surface protection
The bug usually passes in a couple of days, but people who are frail or have other health problems can become more seriously ill.
Chris MacDonald said: “Public Health England is emphasising the need for very good hand hygiene. However, for businesses such as restaurants, shops and care homes, taking extra measures makes great sense.
“This is where Touchpoint Shield™ comes in. It is a near-invisible, highly durable coating that remains in place for at least three years with minimal maintenance, destroying viruses and bacteria deposited on them by touch.
“The coating has been proven to destroy over 99.9% of all bacteria and viruses on both hard and soft surfaces, such as door handles, push plates, vehicle controls, desks, chairs and sofas, and will go on doing that 24 hours a day.
“In environments where person to surface to person transmission of pathogens is a particular risk, such as schools, restaurants, care environments and public transport, Touchpoint Shield™ will form an important extra protective shield against winter vomiting bugs like norovirus.”