Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water — especially after using the bathroom or changing diapers — can be highly effective at reducing your risk of developing norovirus (as well as many other illnesses and diseases). Handwashing works because norovirus can only be transmitted via direct contact with the vomit or feces of an infected person.
Clean and Disinfect Contaminated Areas
This one might seem obvious, but when you’re sick the only thing you want to do is get back in bed. Instead, take a few minutes to disinfect the area if you’ve just vomited or had diarrhea. Check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of disinfectants (PDF) that are effective against norovirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you always wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly and keep sick kids out of the kitchen during food preparation. If you’ve been sick, don’t prepare food for others. Wait until at least two days after your symptoms have stopped before caring for others, otherwise you might risk exposing them to norovirus.
Do the Laundry
Immediately remove and wash any clothes or linens that may be contaminated. Wear rubber gloves and handle soiled items carefully without agitating them. Wash the items with detergent at maximum cycle length then machine dry them.
If you do come down with norovirus, CDC recommends that you stay home from school or work at least a couple days after your symptoms (abdominal pain and discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea) have gone away. There is no cure for norovirus, so you have to wait for the illness to run its course.
In most cases, symptoms should subside about three days after they appear, but each person is different and recovery times vary. The best way to treat norovirus is to get plenty of rest, eat bland foods and drink plenty of fluids.
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