Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause gastrointestinal illness or "stomach flu." Norovirus, which is most common during the winter months, is highly contagious and can spread easily. Outbreaks occur where there are more people in a small area, such as nursing homes, restaurants, catered events and cruise ships. Good hygiene practices are important to prevent transmission from person to person.
Steps that can help you avoid noroviruses include:
- Frequently wash your hands, especially after toileting or changing diapers and before eating or preparing food.
- Carefully wash fruits and vegetables, and steam oysters before eating them.
- Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of diarrhea or vomiting by using a bleach-based household cleaner.
- Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with the virus after an episode of illness (use hot water and soap).
- Flush or discard any vomit and/or stool in the toilet and make sure that the surrounding area is kept clean.
- Persons who are infected with norovirus should refrain from food preparation while they have symptoms and for three days after they recover from their illness.