Have you ever gotten sick from eating something bad? Chances are you may have encountered the norovirus. Often called the “stomach flu” or “stomach bug”, norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illnesses in the United States. Norovirus is most common in the winter months, so let’s use preventative measures to prepare for a norovirus outbreak. Here are the top 4 norovirus treatment and prevention tips
Top 4 norovirus treatment and prevention tips
1) Proper hand washing to prevent norovirus
There is no vaccine or pill that can help prevent the norovirus, but practicing good hygiene will help reduce your chances of getting it. The CDC recommends washing your hands after:
- Using the toilet and changing diapers
- Before eating, preparing and handling food
- Before giving someone medicine
Norovirus can be found in your bodily excrements before you even start to get sick from it. That is why it is important to wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water.
2) Handling food safely helps prevent norovirus
Last year The Connecticut Department of Public Affairs had to monitor two outbreaks from food establishments that were forced to shut down due to a norovirus outbreak. Although it was reported that the outbreak wasn’t linked to bad food, the norovirus can still spread by touching contaminated surfaces and coming into contact with those who have the virus.
That is why it is best to handle food safely in order to avoid an outbreak. Wash all fruits and vegetables before preparing and eating them as foods that are uncooked or prepared improperly may also lead to a norovirus outbreak. The virus is relatively resistant to heat so it is important to prepare and cook foods at the correct temperature.
If you are sick it is best to stay away from serving or handling foods. If you work at a food establishment PLEASE stay home to avoid spreading the virus to others!
The CDC also recommends that staying home to prevent spreading the virus applies to schools, work and other environments where there are large populations
3) Clean your clothes and areas that may be contaminated with norovirus
This speaks for itself as cleaning and disinfecting areas that are contaminated can reduce the chances of the virus from spreading. If a family member or someone whose care you are in charge of is plagued with the virus and is vomiting or has diarrhea,
-Clean the surfaces they touch often and regularly.
-Put on rubber or disposable gloves and then disinfect the area using a bleached based household cleaner as directed on the label.
-Take out the trash and wash your hands.
-Any clothes that have been contaminated should be thrown in the washer. You should wash your clothes with detergent in the highest setting for hot water, and dry them on high heat as well to further kill germs.
4) But, what if I still get the norovirus after trying to prevent it?
Norovirus is a pesky bug. If you do get plagued with norovirus, know that you can help relieve some of the symptoms at home. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort and occasional cramping. More symptoms can be found here.
If symptoms last longer than three days, medical help should be sought
- People with norovirus infection should not return to work or school until at least three days after all symptoms have subsided. Some individuals remain contagious for about three days after recovery, while some remain contagious for another two weeks.
- Strict hygiene and frequent handwashing must be implemented as some people shed the virus in their feces for up to two weeks after symptoms are gone.
- A dry diet is recommended as the symptoms of norovirus diminish. Items such as rice, bread, bananas and clear fluids are suggested.
AFC Danbury has 3 centers ready to serve you!
AFC Danbury has 3 great locations serving the greater Danbury area. If you contract norovirus we are here for you and can help you with the recovery process. We are located at 2 Main Street, 100 Mill Plain Road, and our newest location at 76c Newtown Road. All our locations are open 7 days a week and ready to treat you, and we accept most insurances!