Norovirus Response at Home

Norovirus, (better known as “the stomach bug”) is the number one gastroenteritis virus in the U.S. and chances are you’ll have to respond to a norovirus episode at home sooner or later. In fact, chances are you already have in the past. Yes, more than 21 million people come down with norovirus each year, as it is a highly contagious intestinal virus that most people get from contaminated food or liquid. As such, norovirus can be challenging to contain if people do not know how to go about cleaning norovirus once it does hit home.

The top symptoms of norovirus include stomach cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some people call norovirus “food poisoning” because it is primarily transmitted from contaminated food. You may wonder where people catch norovirus. Well, since food infected with the virus is the main culprit, you can catch norovirus anywhere; from restaurants to schools to public restrooms to your own kitchen. Since we eat every day, there’s plenty of opportunity to come into contact with food that has been infected with norovirus.

Just think of all the people who have touched your food before you actually eat it: the farmer, the inspector, the stocker at the grocery store, the store clerk, the restaurant chef or fast food worker, your spouse, kids, and so on. There are plenty of people involved when it comes to the food chain.

Cleaning Norovirus

Knowing how to go about cleaning norovirus at home is essential to keep the virus contained. Scientists have found that when someone with norovirus vomits or has diarrhea, tiny particles of the virus are expelled into the air and land on surfaces or objects. When a person touches such surfaces, they can easily pick up the virus and get norovirus themselves. This is why at home it is important to understand that proper cleaning techniques can help the spread of the virus.

With norovirus having such a high contagious rate, health officials encourage people to take precaution by washing hands thoroughly and regularly with hot, soapy water, especially after using the bathroom. They also recommend thinking ahead of time to how you’ll go about cleaning norovirus, as improper cleaning can cause norovirus to continue to spread.

When Johnny comes home from school with “the stomach bug”, it’s a guarantee that he’ll either be throwing up or having diarrhea. He may even have both. To help decrease the chances of norovirus spreading to the rest of the family, as well as others, it is important to learn how you can keep norovirus contained.

Here are tips on how you can keep norovirus from spreading:

  • Thoroughly wash hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and hot water after using the bathroom, taking care of a vomiting or diarrhea episode, and before eating food.
  • Keep the person infected with norovirus home for at least two days after symptoms have subsided.
  • Properly clean the areas that were exposed to norovirus, including the furniture, floors, and any other objects or surfaces in the area.
  • Do not use a disinfectant, as norovirus is resistant to such. Use a bleach solution while cleaning norovirus.
  • Have a norovirus clean-up plan ready beforehand so that you’re prepared.
  • To minimize the spread of contamination, consider purchasing a norovirus spill kit, which includes all the information and supplies necessary to kill norovirus and keep it from spreading.