Norovirus Outbreak Causing Closures

February 4, 2013

Norovirus, a highly contagious form of stomach flu, has been spreading around the US this winter almost as much as influenza. Consequently, it’s been causing closures and overwhelming health clinics.

The CDC has tips to help prevent its spread. While washing hands goes a long way, it’s not enough—contaminated surfaces like clothing, kitchen and bathroom counters, etc., can all cause Norovirus transmission.

To prevent a Norovirus outbreak at your home or work, make sure to follow these tips:

-Start with frequent hand washing, and be careful about touching your face, especially when out.

-Follow food safety: wash produce, cook meats and seafoods thoroughly. Stay out of the kitchen if you’re sick, and remember: Norovirus symptoms will disappear long before it stops being contagious.

-If you’ve been sick, clean with bleach, and clean a wide radius. Norovirus flies through the air when you’re sick with it, and it doesn’t take much to catch it. What’s more, it’s resistant to most cleaning products. Bleach is one of the few things that kill it (you can use hydrogen peroxide if you like). Be careful about discoloration when using bleach.

-Wash clothes in the highest temperature that’s safe for them, use detergent, and wash your hands after handling them. Don’t wear something after it’s been in the laundry basket.

-Stay home from work if you’re sick. Norovirus is highly contagious, and with the new strain from Australia around, most people don’t have immunity.

Has your city seen closure due to a Norovirus outbreak?

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