Norovirus and Handwashing

Norovirus is one of the most contagious viruses in the United States, second only to the common cold. In fact, just touching an object or surface that has been exposed to norovirus can cause you to pick up norovirus germs and become infected. Since it is spread so easily and so common today, knowing how to prevent you and loved ones from getting or spreading it is very important.

The importance of washing hands

The most effective preventative measure against getting norovirus is washing your hands. Think of it as a “do-it-yourself” vaccine. It’s easy too, so there’s no excuse for slacking. Not sure how to wash thoroughly? Here’s five easy steps to follow:

  • Get your hands wet with warm or hot water
  • Put a generous amount of soap on them and lather up
  • Vigorously scrub those hands for at least 30 seconds like you’re on a mission to kill every microscopic germ. Get under those fingernails too.
  • Rinse well
  • Dry with air dryer or paper towels

The most common way that germs are spread is by touch. If you are washing your hands after being exposed to germs, it will greatly reduce your chances of getting norovirus or any other kind of illness.

Beware of public areas

It is extremely important to wash your hands regularly, especially in public areas where you tend to pick up boat loads of germs. Wash your hands for at least 30 seconds with hot, soapy water after using public restrooms, before eating or drinking (especially in a public place), and before touching your face or children.

Since norovirus is so easily spread through touch, if you know someone who has been exposed or is ill with norovirus, avoid all contact with that person as long as possible and use the proper sanitary measures to kill the germs. Express your concern about the importance of washing your hands to your friends, family, and coworkers. It is much easier to avoid getting ill if you are taken the right precautions.