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5 Ways to Prevent Catching or Spreading a Stomach Virus (Norovirus)

I've written blogs about numerous health issues for popular wellness websites. This article is sourced from personal experience.

What Is Norovirus?

Often called the "stomach bug," "stomach flu," or the "winter vomiting bug," norovirus is a highly contagious virus that inflames the intestines and causes stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, headache, weakness, and vomiting.

The main norovirus seasons are winter and spring, but it can strike year round. Doctors are still unsure why it seems to occur more often during the winter, but theorize it may be because people stay indoors and in closer proximity to others for more time.

There is no vaccine or specific preventive medication for norovirus. But it is possible to take sensible steps to avoid catching it in the first place. Below are five ways you can protect you and your family against catching or spreading this uncomfortable virus.

5 Ways to Prevent Catching or Spreading Norovirus

  1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  2. Clean, cook, and eat food at home.
  3. Teach children how to protect themselves at school.
  4. Protect yourself in the workplace.
  5. Quickly get rid of germs if sickness strikes in the household.

Continue reading for explanations of each of these tips.

1. Wash Your Hands Frequently With Soap and Water

Any public surface you touch may be contaminated with norovirus. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a warning not to rely on ordinary hand sanitizer or alcohol gels alone, and to continue to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Many sanitizers and gels sold are not effective against norovirus, especially those that rely on alcohol, but there are others that quickly destroy viruses and bacteria on contact.

Follow these steps when washing your hands:

  1. Lather your hands, wrists, and lower arms with soap.
  2. Use hot running water and scrub for at least one minute, preferably two.
  3. Rinse thoroughly.
  4. Dry your hands on a new paper towel. (Note: Germs and viruses spread when people use and reuse cloth towels.)

2. Clean, Cook, and Eat Food at Home

Food preparation and food handling create a major infection path. All public food establishments, from the most upscale restaurants to fast food joints, have signs posted in restrooms used by employees that read, "Wash your hands!" But can you really trust that all food handlers are doing this every time they go to the bathroom?

It is safest to eat at home during the norovirus seasons of winter and spring, but if you must eat at a restaurant during this time, choose well-cooked foods. Shellfish and salads are the food types which are most often infected with norovirus. You should also avoid foods that contain sticky dairy products, such as cheese, which actually help the virus cling to plates.

Your home kitchen may not be free of problems, either, but you have more control over the whole process, from choosing clean utensils, to cooking, to serving, and eating. It's also a good habit to wash all countertops with a disinfecting solution before any food preparation. Be sure to use new paper towels, not reusable sponges or cloths, which harbor viruses and bacteria. Go through the same process after meals, and mop the kitchen floor with a solution containing hydrogen peroxide or bleach.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend the use of a chlorine bleach solution for killing norovirus, but most people hesitate to use bleach routinely because it can cause discoloration. Chlorine bleach is also unsafe for toddlers and pets that may lick surfaces where it has been used. Fortunately, Clorox now sells a retail product containing a stronger hydrogen peroxide than the 3% most people keep in their medicine cabinets, and it's guaranteed to kill viruses in only a few seconds: Clorox Healthcare Hydrogen Peroxide Disinfecting Wipes. (See below.)

Also, be sure to wash all uncooked foods, especially produce or fruit that will be eaten raw. Try this effective homemade solution for cleaning produce, which is made up of the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Mix these ingredients in a bowl, then soak your raw foods in the solution for two minutes. After the two minutes, rinse the food thoroughly. You can also put the solution in a clean spray bottle and spray it on raw meat. Rinse after two minutes.

When shopping for foods, especially produce, seafood, and meat, look at labels and avoid foods from countries that do not enforce safety standards in their production. This is a good safety measure to follow all the time. Do you really want to eat shellfish and other seafood from contaminated water or vegetables that may have been irrigated with sewage?

Last but not least, when it comes to washing dishes, since washing them by hand may not get rid of every trace of norovirus or other pathogens, it is preferable to wash all dishes and utensils in your dishwasher using the hottest water setting. Choose a sanitize cycle, if you have it, and let the dishes hot air dry. If you don't have a dishwasher, use the hottest wash and rinse water possible. Hold each item under running water to rinse and wash any clinging virus down the drain.

Keep fast-working disinfecting wipes on hand in kitchen and bathrooms.

3. Teach Children to Protect Themselves

Norovirus spreads through schools and daycare facilities like wildfire, and kids often bring the virus home unknowingly. Even young children can be taught the importance of washing their hands and how to do it properly.

Lightly spray their backpacks with disinfectant and wipe their books, notebooks, pencils before they leave for the classroom. Give them a small bottle of hospital-grade disinfectant or zipper-closure plastic bag containing disinfecting wipes to keep in their backpacks for emergencies, but make sure your kids know it doesn't take the place of soap and water. For younger children, tape a “cheat sheet” inside the flap of a backpack or notebook as a reminder, including these tips:

  1. Wash your hands with soap every chance you get, especially before and after eating, after using the restroom, or touching a doorknob or any other object someone else has touched. If you can't get to soap and water, use the sanitizer in your backpack. When leaving the restroom, put a paper towel between your hand and the doorknob or handle.
  2. Don't touch your face with your hands.
  3. Don't eat anything from someone else's lunch or snack.
  4. Stay away from anyone who seems sick, even your friends.
  5. Wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you get home from school. Don't eat an after-school snack until your hands are clean.

The more repetitive you are with these messages, the more likely they are to remember and practice them. You don't want to give your kids phobias about viruses and germs, but you can teach them about preventing icky illnesses without being a nag. Teach by example. Let them see you following these guidelines.

When it comes to food, make your children’s lunch with healthy foods stored in a disposable paper bag. The food handlers at schools aren’t any more likely to follow through with hand-washing procedures than those who work in restaurants. Protecting your children’s health requires your active involvement.

If you have children young enough for daycare, talk to the management about their hygiene procedures. Ask about their policy regarding sick employees--whether they are sent home or allowed to work. If they don't seem receptive or you aren't comfortable with their policies and procedures, remind them that keeping everyone healthy means more business. Parents may wish to use their own sick leave or vacation time in order to care for their children during epidemics or when viral illnesses are "going around."

4. Protect Yourself at Work

The first step you can take to protect yourself at work is to prepare your own healthy lunch at home, bringing it to the workplace in a disposable bag. Once at work, you will touch numerous objects that are potentially infected, so be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before eating. If any of your coworkers appear to be feeling under the weather or mention having or "getting over" a stomach bug, keep your distance. You aren’t being rude, you’re just protecting yourself and your family. Remember that individuals who have norovirus may still be contagious for two weeks or longer.

5. Be Smart About Germs If Sickness Strikes

In spite of all you do to avoid norovirus, if someone in your family still gets it, take precautions to protect others. After vomiting and diarrhea end, the sick person should take a warm shower with lots of soapy lather. Leave the water running for a few minutes after exiting the shower stall to wash virus particles down the drain. Afterward, clean the shower with a disinfectant, either chlorine bleach-based or containing hydrogen peroxide stronger than the 3% solution that many people keep in the medicine cabinet.

All used towels, washcloths, and sleepwear should be carefully placed in a plastic garbage bag until they can be put into the washer. Do not put these items in a dirty clothes hamper to prevent cross-contamination.

All bed linens the sick person has used should be removed and laundered, with clean ones put on the bed. When removing soiled sheets and other bedclothes, take the ends and fold them inward toward the middle carefully to avoid scattering minute bits of the virus that may cling to the cloth. If you're doing this for someone else, wear disposable rubber gloves while handling laundry.

All laundry used by the infected person (clothing, towels, washcloths, bed linens) should be washed with bleach that is diluted with water before adding to a washer filled with water. Set the water temperature at Hot on the longest time setting available. For fabrics that cannot be bleached, use Lysol® brand phenolic disinfectant or even a pine oil cleaner that contains at least 80% pine oil. Oxygen-based bleaches will not disinfect.

Does this sound like an enormous amount of work? Make no mistake, it is. But it’s necessary if someone in your family contracts norovirus to avoid the domino effect. You don’t want it to spread to everyone else.

Use hot water and bleach for a sick person's laundry.

Use hot water and bleach for a sick person's laundry.

5-tips-to-avoid-catching-norovirus-or-spreading-it

Treating Norovirus

Remember--there's no medication currently available that will prevent or stop norovirus in its tracks. Remember that antibiotics have no effect against viruses. They only target bacterial infections. If you catch norovirus, you’re probably in for a wretched period of illness, one you will essentially have to endure. Rest and drink lots of water to prevent dehydration once the most active phase (vomiting and diarrhea) ends. If symptoms are severe and don't ease within 12 hours, prescription medication or over-the-counter meds may be used for relief. It's a good idea to keep an over-the-counter antiemetic (to decrease nausea) on hand in your medicine cabinet so it will be there if needed. Do not give aspirin for fever or headache to small children. Keep a doctor-approved OTC medication on hand.

Norovirus tends to mutate, and (like flu) there may be more than one strain circulating during any season. However, general symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Forceful vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration due to loss of body fluids

Vomiting and diarrhea usually stop after 10 to 12 hours. Other symptoms may last a week or more.

Norovirus is not dangerous for most people, but can be deadly for the elderly, the very young, or anyone with chronic illness or a compromised immune system. The main dangers are dehydration and the possibility of fainting and sustaining injuries from a fall.

The illness also strikes within two or three days of exposure. However, the contagion precedes symptoms, so it is very easy to spread the virus without knowing. If that isn’t bad enough, the sufferer may remain contagious after symptoms end from 48 hours until (in some cases) up to two weeks or even longer.

The virus, which spreads on surfaces touched by an infected person and through tiny droplets aerosolized in the air from vomit, is very hard to kill. It is considered a very robust virus because it is so hardy and can live for a long time, especially on hard surfaces.

Alcohol gels are not very effective against this virus, but Clorox Healthcare Hydrogen Peroxide Disinfecting Wipes, available on Amazon.com, kill viruses and other pathogens in seconds. It is wise to keep containers of these wipes in your kitchen and bathrooms for easy use (and put away cloth hand towels so no one will be tempted to use them instead of disposable paper towels). Also, wiping doorknobs and openers, phones, and other objects frequently touched is a good idea. See the link below to purchase Clorox Healthcare Hydrogen Peroxide Disinfecting Wipes from Amazon.

Result of fainting while vomiting

Most people don't have such a souvenir from norovirus, but fainting and falling gave me this one.

Most people don't have such a souvenir from norovirus, but fainting and falling gave me this one.

Drink lots of water to rehydrate.

Drink lots of water to rehydrate.

Good dog while Mommy was sick!

Good dog while Mommy was sick!

Do What You Can to Avoid This Horrible Virus

Please use these tips when the norovirus season comes around. To be extra safe, follow them year-round. Trust me when I say that norovirus is not an illness you want to experience. I hope you and your family will avoid it and stay healthy.

Update: Another tip for staying healthy and keeping nasty viruses at bay was offered by a reader of this article. (See LongTimeMother in the Comments section, below.) She recommends regular use of garlic and raw honey as possible ways to ward off sickness.

Also, anything you can do to boost your immune system may protect you from viruses and bacterial illnesses. That includes regularly consuming probiotics in yogurt or kefir, eating raw or lightly-steamed fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants (beta-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E), and eating foods with zinc and selenium. If you can't get enough of these protective nutrients in your food every day, take a high-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement.

Why do People Faint?

  • Fainting: Why do People Faint?
    There are various reasons why people faint. Some are harmless; others may be serious. A sudden fainting spell can cause injuries from falls. What should you do if you observe someone faint?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Jaye Denman

Comments

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on November 20, 2014:

CF80 - Thanks for reading and sharing your tips. Anything that strengthens the immune system is good for helping us fight off illnesses. Stay well this norovirus season! Regards, Jaye

CF80 on November 19, 2014:

Hi Jaye!

Great article! I wanted to give you and other readers some helpful tips that I personally employ as an extreme emetophobic. 100% grape juice is your friend! It changes the pH level of your stomach, making it uninhabitable for the virus, downside; it's only a preventative, once you have it, it's too late. Benadryl can help ease or altogether stop the vomiting phase by retarding the muscle contraction needed for emensis to happen. Also, probiotics can help in not catching the virus. I use Tummy Tuneup and Gut Guardian by Beeyoutiful, a healthy intestinal tract will help your overall health anyway. Also, black elderberry will toughen up your immune system, taken twice daily (Sambucol). All of these will help your immune system overall, but the first two will help safeguard against noro. I watched my poor daughter go through this and swore to prevent it from happening again, as best as I could.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on November 17, 2014:

George – You’re quite right about the value of hand-washing for illness prevention. It’s simple and easy to do, but also easily overlooked, especially when people are in a hurry. We all should wash our hands frequently during ‘contagious virus’ season. Thanks for reading and your comment. Regards, Jaye

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Paula, my girl – We have to take care of ourselves if we don’t want to go through the misery of a virus attack, and I never want that again. The memory is still too horribly vivid. I’m sure people who see me using my disinfectant wipes think I’m a germaphobe, but who cares if the practice helps protect me from viruses?

Methinks common sense should stop people from going on cruises during the height of the norovirus season after so many shipboard outbreaks! But then, I hibernate year-round, and my ‘travel’ these days is rarely more than ten miles from home. A recent worthy exception: my grandson and his lovely bride were married this past Friday, and it was a joy to be there—especially since I rode with my son and daughter-in-law.

I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season too, and thanks for the vote/feedback/pin/tweet. Take care and be well….Jaye

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Hi, Mary – Thanks for reading this again. Repetition helps the memory, I’ve found (MY memory, anyway). Yes, I’m well, though a bit tired and overworked for a ‘retiree’, LOL. I'm not complaining, as I'm glad to have the work. Hope you are well also, and have a happy holiday season. Jaye

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Audrey – I hope this year will prove the exception for you and that you’ll stay well. This is such a busy time of year, and no one wants to lie in bed feeling lousy while everyone else is enjoying the season. Thanks for reading, the vote and sharing. Take care….Jaye

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on November 17, 2014:

Appreciate these 5 tips to avoid the flu. Even with a flu shot I get it every year. Voted up and more and will certainly share. Thanks. Audrey

Mary Craig from New York on November 17, 2014:

I came back to read as this is so appropriate for this time of year! Well done. Hope you are well.

Suzie from Carson City on November 17, 2014:

Jaye.....Tis that time of year to put our guard up. This article is packed with sound, useful advice we need to heed. Just thinking about this dreaded illness can make me sick.

The truth is, it's up to each of us to be alert and use common sense when it comes to the spread of viruses. Of course, for those of us whose immune systems are more frail as we age, we simply can't be lax.

Basically Jaye, I have accepted that hibernation is not such a bad idea. Low exposure seems to work best. It never hurts to slow down and take 2 or 3 months to enjoy solitude anyway, now does it.

Here's wishing you a healthy, happy season from start to finish...UP++pinned & tweeted.

georgescifo from India on November 17, 2014:

washing your hands properly is one of the best and simple ways of spreading stomach virus and most of the time we tend to ignore this simple step.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on November 07, 2014:

Thank you so much, Jo, for sharing this article. Every time I read a news report about a big outbreak of Norovirus, I feel so bad for those people. That is one misery-making virus! Since experiencing its wrath, I follow my own tips to avoid catching it again and hope others will too. Stay well!

Jaye

Jo_Goldsmith11 on November 07, 2014:

So glad to hear you are doing much better. Thank you for sharing this very important information! I always carry with me hand sanitizer to make sure that my hands are clean. I also keep my hands away from my face, and when I have an itch I will use my knuckle instead of my nail, especially when I am shopping. Voted this up for useful, interesting and there should be an *Awesome* button!

I have shared this to help get this message out.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on October 04, 2014:

Annart - I'm so sorry your friend caught a virus and was ill during your cruise vacation, but glad you stayed well. Cruise ships and other places where a lot of people are in close proximity are prime targets for norovirus and other contagious illnesses, including food-borne sickness.

You're right about hand-washing being key to prevention. A powerful disinfectant is good to have on hand.

Thanks for reading and for sharing your story. Regards....Jaye

Ann Carr from SW England on October 04, 2014:

I went with a friend on a cruise ship March 2013; we'd been told that the norovirus has been on board and that the ship had been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

The bug broke out again and several people went down with it. We had specific instructions and there were gel-dispensers everywhere. I saw people refuse to use them, I saw people use toilets and not wash hands. My friend caught it; we of course shared a cabin and I thought, 'That's it, then, me next.' However, I was lucky or maybe I'm more robust than I thought - I escaped it. Victims were confined to barracks for 36 hours and had to be signed out by the ship's doctor. Horrible virus, though fairly quickly over for most. At least she managed to see the Northern Lights despite the virus! Some good timing at least!

Great advice and clear instructions on how to avoid it and deal with it - water is the key! They also gave my friend a special solution which helped.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on September 26, 2014:

Au fait - It IS getting to be 'that time of year again', and I appreciate your sharing this hub. The tips for avoiding (or at least, not spreading) norovirus are helpful for other viruses and even bacterial infections. Since the enterovirus is targeting children now, the handwashing and disinfectant wipes can be very beneficial with kids back in school. Thanks for sharing.

JAYE

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Shyron - I've never had a migraine, but I've witnessed others who suffer from them become very ill. Still, I've had 18 surgeries and live with chronic pain, but the norovirus made me feel worse than anything else I can recall. I never want it again! I keep a tub of those special disinfectant wipes on hand and carry a few in a plastic bag inside my handbag when I leave home. STAY WELL, dear friend. JAYE

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Sujaya Venkatesh- Thanks for reading and for your feedback. I hope this information proves helpful to you. JAYE

sujaya venkatesh on September 26, 2014:

a beneficial hub

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on September 25, 2014:

Here I am the bad penny turning up again. Saw you in Au fait's PrunedNewz and I thought I read this before and I did and now I am back.

Voted up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting. Will share.

Some good tips in here. I know the upset stomach that comes with a migraine must be like being sick from norovirus.

Have a blessed day and stay well.

Shyron

C E Clark from North Texas on September 14, 2014:

It's getting to be that time of year when people have colds and flu again. Posting this to FB, pinning this to Awesome HubPages, and sharing in hopes that people will take precautions to stay healthy. Washing hands correctly is the first defense and the easiest too. Hope people avail themselves of soap and water and stay healthy this year.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on August 05, 2014:

Thanks, Mel. I'm glad you aren't highly susceptible to the various 'bugs' that make the rounds. When I was younger, I rarely caught anything--even when traveling (except for once on a trip to Nashville that turned into a nightmare, both there and on the flight home).

Unfortunately, my immune system isn't as strong in my older years, and I know I had norovirus shortly before I wrote this article and probably had it or its 'first cousin' a couple of years before that. So now I'm hyper-careful to do everything I can to avoid catching it again. I only hope this hub will help others avoid it too.

Thanks for reading and your comments. Jaye

Mel Carriere from San Diego California on August 05, 2014:

Great hub! Strangely enough, I used to suffer from stomach ailments like this all the time as a youngster, but as an adult I rarely if ever catch this sort of bug. The last one I had was about 15 years ago when we went to Las Vegas. I am sure I picked up something in the hotel room. I can never stay in a hotel room without catching something. A good idea for travelers would probably be to disinfect every sink or bathroom surface in the hotel before touching it. These are excellent tips, and thanks for keeping us informed with your periodic updates at the end.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on July 22, 2014:

Oh, Leslie - How terrible that everyone got so ill! Did the church leadership share a meal or some type of fingerfood refreshments together? Norovirus is often spread through foods prepared by someone harborig the virus.

When large groups are together, just touching a doorknob or other object that an infectious person's touched without washing his or her hands is all it takes to catch the illness. And, because the norovirus stays active for a week to ten days even after symptoms are gone, people often go to public or private places and mingle with groups thinking they are no longer contagious when, in fact, they are. In fact, surfaces may have traces of the virus (and it only takes a drop or two to infect you) after the ill person has left the premises. Until disinfected, those surfaces can cause illness for quite some time.

That's why I carry with me the disinfectant wipes mentioned in my article that are guaranteed to kill the norovirus (and many others) in seconds when I go someplace. I use them to wipe anything that someone else is likely to have touched and wait a few seconds before I touch it. I never want to suffer through norovirus again!

Stay well (and please share these tips with your friends at church to keep them well also).

Regards, Jaye

Leslie A. Shields from Georgia on July 22, 2014:

Last summer most of our church leadership came down with it within 24 hours of one another... we still do not know the source... It was horrible!

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on July 21, 2014:

VocalCoach - I am so sorry you and the others in your home suffered this devastating virus and can relate to your feeling that you were so sick you "...just wanted to die." It probably has that effect on everyone who catches it. Such misery! I never want to feel that awful again. That is why I keep the Clorox Healthcare disinfectant on hand all the time since I had the norovirus and frequently wash my hands thoroughly every day. Thanks for the vote and sharing these tips. Stay well....Regards, JAYE

Davenstan - How terrible that your little girl was so ill with norovirus. It's difficult enough for an adult to cope with such a terrible sickness, and, as a mother, I'm sure it was dreadful for you to see your child in such misery. The virus spreads like wildfire through schools and other places children gather in groups, so it was good that you notified the dance school of its presence. I am so glad you didn't get the virus while pregnant in your first trimester, which could have been dangerous for your baby as well as yourself.

Your use of bleach was probably the action that kept the rest of your family from catching the virus from your daughter. (Good thinking!) Clorox Healthcare disinfectant works in seconds to kill norovirus (as well as other viruses and bacteria on surfaces), yet doesn't have the harsh effects of chlorine bleach and doesn't bleach colors out of fabrics. I never let my supply run out, and I use it regularly and tell everyone I know about it. (No, I don't have any association with The Clorox Company...haha. I'm just grateful to them for this product. Otherwise, I'd be purchasing a more costly industrial brand such as hospitals use.) I hope your family stays well and never has norovirus again.....Regards, JAYE

Katina Davenport on July 21, 2014:

This happened to my 6 year old daughter after being in dance class. I called the dance school to warn them that my daughter contracted an illness after returning from dance class. My husband took her to the emergency room for treatment and she appeared to get better within 12 hours. At this time I was 8 weeks pregnant myself with a healthy son and husband. I literally washed everything in bleach and anything I could think of to fight against the illness. It was the longest week of my life. Thanks for the colorox tip. I will be purchasing that as soon as possible.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on July 20, 2014:

There are 3 adults in my household including me. We all came down with Norovirus within 1 day of each other. I was so sick I wanted to just die. This is a terrible illness and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

I found this hub to be very useful and how I wish everyone could read it. I will do my part by sharing this hub everywhere!

Voted up and more and thank you so much!

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on July 19, 2014:

Thanks, Shyron - I practice what I preach about preventing this (and other) nasty virus(es). I use those strong disinfectant wipes and carry several with me in a zippered plastic bag. Washing my hands frequently with soap and rinsing thoroughly is a habit. I wash produce thoroughly and keep my kitchen and bathroom surfaces wiped down with disinfectant. And I don't eat at restaurants any more, though I realize that isn't practical for most people. I don't ever want to be that sick again!

I appreciate the share. Have a good weekend! Jaye

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 18, 2014:

Jaye, I am back to read this again. You did a wonderful job of researchying this article and the tips to avoid Norovirus. Thank you.

Voted up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting. Will share.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 22, 2014:

kerlund74 - I hope your family avoids the norovirus during the epidemic season in your country. Here in the U.S. both norovirus and H1N1 flu are rampant

Helping children develop the good habit of thorough hand-washing by teaching them it can help them stay well is half the battle. Most children--even the younger ones--don't like the idea of getting a virus that makes them very sick. Thanks for reading and best wishes....JAYE

kerlund74 from Sweden on February 22, 2014:

A really useful hub! In sweden we have the worst months right now. At home all these are things that one should do:) At school it is harder... But well the children gladly wash there hands in school just to avoid illness.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 16, 2014:

Hi, Tamie - Thanks for the info about Spray Nine. I'm always glad to learn of helpful products available on Amazon. I'll check it out.

Jaye

Tamie on February 16, 2014:

Just wanted to note that we have had good luck using a cleaner called Spray Nine (available on Amazon and at some auto supply stores) which is registered to kill norovirus. I keep it on hand at all times and have found it easy to grab when someone is sick and I haven't had a chance to make up a bleach solution.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 09, 2014:

Julie - I'm so glad if my article helps you avoid norovirus while you're in treatment and your immunity is low. You have enough health issues just now without that horrible virus, and your concentration should be on getting completely well.

Thanks for providing the link to a less expensive source for the disinfectant wipes. I never leave my home without putting several of them in a plastic bag and carrying them with me in my handbag. Be well. Regards, Jaye

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on January 31, 2014:

Hi, Shyron - Once (having norovirus) was enough for me, and I'll do everything possible to avoid it again. I'm glad you haven't suffered with it and hope you'll follow these tips to prevent getting it. The reports I've read about the various cruise ship gastro illnesses all state that the symptoms are consistent with norovirus (and it's everywhere). Be safe! Jaye

Peg - Bless your heart! I'm so sorry you've just been through the worst of norovirus, but glad you learned how long it lasts before you exposed your mom. Now that I keep on hand the new Clorox disinfectant that guarantees killing norovirus quickly, I pack several of the wipes in a plastic zipper bag and take them with me to the grocery store to thoroughly wipe anything on the cart that I'll touch. I use the others to wipe my hands before touching the car door handle and steering wheel, as well as wiping off my handbag. (Purses get set down in so many "buggy" places that it's a good practice to disinfect yours frequently.)

You may not feel up to par for another week and will likely remain contagious, so take it easy and take good care of yourself.

Aren't dogs wonderful? I think they do sense when humans are sick and don't make demands of us then.

Regards, Jaye

P.S. I lived in the Dallas area for eight years and loved it there.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on January 31, 2014:

Hello Jaye, First I must say I'm sorry you had this virus and so glad you wrote about it to share your learned lessons. I found this hub just in the nick of time as I was headed across the street this morning to take care of my Mom. Now, I know I may still be contagious and better wait another couple of days. Over the past weekend, I experienced the identical symptoms you described right down to the trip to the grocery store. Usually I wash my hands immediately when I come home, but for some reason, I delayed that time. This is a dreadful illness that leaves you feeling weak in the legs, fatigued and leary of eating anything ever again.

During all this, my poor dogs knew something was terribly wrong and they did their best to make their outside trips short and productive. It is amazing how they can sense our needs. I'm hoping the worst is over and that we won't pass it back and forth again.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 31, 2014:

Jaye, I am glad you got rid of that nasty bug. I have been fortunate, so far, (knocking on wood (i.e. Knocking on my forehead).) I wonder if this bug is what is infecting the Cruse ships?

Voted up, UI and shared.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on December 26, 2013:

Thank you so much, Au fait, for sharing this hub again. (I have a link to your hand-washing hub on it, too.) This is the worst time of year for illnesses caused by viruses, and people should do everything possible to protect themselves and their families. These viruses (including flu) seem to be mutating and becoming more severe...even fatal for some people. It's worth the effort to avoid them.

Stay warm, safe and healthy! JAYE

C E Clark from North Texas on December 26, 2013:

This is an excellent article and great information and advice for avoiding not only what is referred to as 'stomach flu,' but colds and flu generally. As you know, I have written about how to correctly wash one's hands, and that is the first defense against catching and spreading disease of all kinds.

It seems to me the flu season is looming and now is a good time for people to think how they might go about avoiding the flu, colds, and other miseries that are so common this time of the year. Everyone needs to read this if they haven't already, and review it if they have read it previously. Voting it up useful/awesome and sharing! Also, pinned to my 'Health' board on Pinterest.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on December 07, 2013:

Audrey - This virus is especially hardy--all the more reason to do everything possible to avoid catching it. Thanks for reading....Jaye

Rebecca - You're very welcome. Stay well! Jaye

Hackslap - You're right that regular good hygiene practices can help keep all types of contagious illnesses at bay. This requires vigilance, but is definitely worth the effort. Thanks for the "thumbs-up" vote.....Jaye

Harry from Sydney, Australia on December 07, 2013:

This is an excellent article! .. Its simply daily hygiene routines which can help defeat any virus really ..Good read..thumbs up!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on December 07, 2013:

Thank you SO much for tips on how to avoid that nasty bug.

Audrey Howitt from California on December 07, 2013:

I didn't know that the contagious period was so long--good to know!!

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on November 14, 2013:

Hi, Shyron - Your poem is funny, but I hope we will prove the exception rather than the rule. I'm certainly doing all the things that may protect me from catching flu or any other viruses. I never want to catch norovirus again (or have it catch me)!

Thanks for the vote, feedback and sharing. Jaye

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on November 13, 2013:

Jaye, tis the season to catch the flu, and hard to avoid no matter what you do. I don't know why its called catch the flu, when it is what just caught me and you.

Voted up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting. Will share.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on November 13, 2013:

vibesites - Thanks for reading and for your comments. Thorough handwashing is a good hygiene practice that can actually save lives, and it's so easy to do. Everyone should make a habit of handwashing.

Jaye

vibesites from United States on November 13, 2013:

Washing your hands thoroughly is one of the best ways of preventing the spread of bacteria that spread any kind of sickness yet we take this for granted. It's time that we practice good hygiene; it's for our own good in the end. Thanks for your very useful tips. :)

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on October 02, 2013:

WhiteMuse - I'm sorry you were ill and hope you are fully recovered. The dangerous illness reported in San Francisco is Mennigococcal Disease. It does carry a high mortality rate, though there are vaccines to protect against it. The two cases in SF were isolated to try to control spread of the disease.

There's a very good description of this disease, its symptoms, treatment and prevention on Wikipedia.

Take care,

Jaye

WhiteMuse on October 02, 2013:

I was just sick and vomiting recently. So I was worried about it. I just had a feeling to look at yours here and I saw this. There is also a very serious disease in San Francisco now. It is monococcus or something like that. It can cause death 50% of the time I read. There were two cases. So I was worried but it was not that. You can get it from sharing a cigarette etc. There's also a typhoid warning for eating at Nordstrom. That is strange.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on June 28, 2013:

Thanks for reading and adding to the discussion about norovirus, Debby. I have become something of a fanatic about hand-washing since my experience with the misery it causes.

This is the information my research revealed about incubation and contagion length of the norovirus:

"More bad news. Illness strikes within two or three days of exposure; however, contagion precedes symptoms. If that isn’t bad enough, the sufferer may remain contagious after symptoms end for two weeks or longer."

The point you made about staying hydrated is a crucial one. It's so easy to become dehydrated with a stomach virus. After my initial night of extreme illness, I managed to sip water periodically the next day even though stomach cramps persisted long after the other symptoms eased.

Again...thanks for the read and comments.

Regards,

Jaye

Debby Bruck on June 27, 2013:

Dear Jaye - It sounds like you had a pretty rough time of it and want to send out warning signals to everyone, "PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS." Basically, that will help prevent the spread of the disease, since it occurs from fecal contamination when people then touch their mouth or a part of the body that touches the mouth. One point that I'm not sure you mentioned. Once you are infected it takes 2 days for symptoms to appear. The virus lasts for about 7-8 days. With diarrhea and vomiting, it's important to stay hydrated. Glad you are well again. Debby

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on June 21, 2013:

Glassvisage....Thanks for reading and your comments. You're very fortunate to have a home garden. Enjoy!

Jaye

glassvisage from Northern California on June 21, 2013:

Thank you for sharing this. I have been thinking about the same thing as well. All the more reason to enjoy my home garden :)

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on June 20, 2013:

Since my encounter with the nasty norovirus, I'm fanatical about cleaning produce. Although I eat only organic vegetables and fruits (so I don't have to worry about pesticides), all produce can harbor pathogens. It's good practice to take the extra time and effort to clean it thoroughly.

I noticed a news headline yesterday that norovirus sickened hundreds of people at a national park. Yosemite?

Thanks for reading and your comments.

Jaye

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on June 20, 2013:

Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers and on social networking sites.

I'm thankful for your tips. I've been wondering if there should be more to washing fresh produce than running them under cold water for a few seconds and maybe giving them a quick scrub with a vegetable brush.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on June 02, 2013:

Thanks for the vote, feedback and share, Aunt Jimi. One thing I can promise is that anyone who experiences this dreadful virus will be willing to do almost anything not to get it again. It's better, of course, to avoid it in the first place. Thorough hand-washing and good cleaning practices can help you do that.

Jaye

Aunt Jimi from The reddest of the Red states! on June 02, 2013:

This norovirus sounds pretty awful. Someone I know got it while he was in the hospital for something else and he sure was sick. Good that you're alerting people to beware of this bug and washing hands is one of the easiest, cheapest, best ways to avoid it.

Voted up, useful, and awesome. Shared too.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on May 12, 2013:

Thank you, Shyron, (and thanks to Au fait for the recommendation). I'm glad you found me and hope you enjoy reading the variety of things I've written and posted on HubPages. I appreciate the vote, feedback and sharing of this hub.

Regards,

Jaye

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on May 12, 2013:

Jaye, I love your hub, I am so glad that Au fait told me about you. I will be reading more of your hubs.

This one voted up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting. Will share.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on May 06, 2013:

Thanks, RTalloni--You're right...if you experience the norovirus, you definitely don't ever want to get it again! Frequent, thorough hand-washing and other cleanliness measures can protect you from its ravages.

Jaye

RTalloni on May 06, 2013:

Lots of helpful info here, and the comments offer some good feedback. The more the consequences of not washing hand properly, etc, are highlighted the more people will pay attention to habits of cleanliness. It only takes one experience with this or one of the food poisonings to convince us, doesn't it?

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on April 24, 2013:

Kadje...I'm so glad you didn't get sick while on your cruise. You're right about the buffets being a repository for germs from ill crew and passengers. It's good you were being careful.

Jaye

Kadje on April 23, 2013:

Having Been on a cruise where there was. An outbreak, I would advise people to stay away from the buffet style options. All those passengers breathing on food just isn't hygienic. I didn't get sick, but accidentally followed most of this advice, including carrying hand sanitizer everywhere.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on April 08, 2013:

Hi, Wabash Annie...Thanks for reading and your comments. I, too, now clean my steering wheel, telephone and other objects that both I and visitors touch, only I use peroxide or vinegar to kill bacteria. (Ammonia makes me sneeze and sneeze and sneeze...you get the idea...plus I don't like the way it smells.)

Since there are several products that kill bacteria and viruses, whatever you prefer that works is good. The idea is to get rid of disease-harboring "bugs" before they infect someone.

I'm especially attentive to cleaning surfaces and hand-washing after going to the grocery store since my experience with norovirus. I also go all around my house cleaning with Lysol's peroxide wipes after my great-grandchildren visit, since they pass around colds and viruses among their family members frequently.

Jaye

wabash annie from Colorado Front Range on April 07, 2013:

Jaye, just finished reading this hub and scanned the many comments. Your suggestions about how to avoid this illness are excellent. I wash my hands often and take care to wash produce but, one day, realized that the steering wheel of my car had to be a hotbed of germs. Now, I wash it often and use a solution of ammonia and water as I do on other surfaces. Bleach can cause other problems so hope the ammonia/water works. Thanks for keeping us posted and alert.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on March 26, 2013:

Thanks for reading, Au fait...I understand the problems working people face when they don't have paid sick leave or what they have is limited. Even though I had plenty of paid sick leave before retirement from my "regular" career, I thought I "had" to be at work no matter how I felt (and my boss seemed to think so, too, since he asked me to work from home staying "connected" via computer and two phones after I had surgery!) This makes it difficult to avoid spreading communicable illnesses (both viral and bacterial) in the workplace.

When you don't have soap and water available, hand sanitizer is a good substitute in most instances. If you can find sanitizing wipes with alcohol, such as they use in hospitals, they may be more effective against hard-to-kill viruses.

I love the phrase you used about hospitals: germ malls. Believe me, I do my best to stay out of hospitals these days! They're only for last resort, in my opinion, and you need a family member or friend with you all the time to ensure hospital staffers (including doctors) thoroughly wash their hands before touching you.

Jaye

C E Clark from North Texas on March 26, 2013:

One of my coworkers, an elderly man, has something on this order. It's hard to get information about coworkers and we're just told he has a stomach flu. He had been out sick with pneumonia (hospitalized for several days) and returned to work after a couple of weeks only to have to have an ambulance transport him to hospital in the afternoon of his first day back to work. This is his second week out since that event. Expect he contracted the stomach issue in the hospital. They're germ malls.

Some people don't get sick pay and those of us who do; it's limited. So living paycheck to paycheck, we really can't afford to stay home if we can help it. I was recently sick with the flu and took off only a couple of days and worked the rest of it miserable with chills and more. I'm in constant contact with coworkers and children everyday. People send their children to school sick too.

We have hand sanitizer available most of the time at work since soap and water are not.

Excellent hub, and I appreciate the warning about the stomach virus. I hadn't heard about it before. Voting this hub up, useful, and will share it with my followers.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on March 22, 2013:

Billie...Thanks for reading this article and for your comments. I'm glad you "missed out on" norovirus from the little girl's cookies. You were fortunate indeed not to endure that particular gastrointestinal version of hell.

The failure of cooks--both in their own kitchens or those in restaurants of all types--to thoroughly wash their hands before preparing food is one of the major reasons for food-borne illnesses such as norovirus. I hope your good luck holds when you begin buying baked goods again!

Regards,

Jaye

Billie Kelpin from Newport Beach on March 22, 2013:

just came across your hubs reading a piece by Dr. Mark, the vet. I was accompanying a college group on a field trip to an Amish community and was on a diet. I was the only one who didn't eat the cookies that students bought at one house. Everyone was sick the next day except me and the Dept. of Health investigated. They amazingly traced the virus back to a little girl who was baking the cookies with her mom. I thought it was absolutely amazing for them to have found this out. The washing of the hands, in this case, was essential. Of course, that will never stop me from buying baked goods ANYWHERE since I'm off my diet :) !!!

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on March 09, 2013:

Thanks, Vinyaya, for reading and commenting about this article. You're right that hand-washing is key to prevention--if only people will remember to do it.

Jaye

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on March 08, 2013:

Most of stomach diseases can be avoided by simply washing our hands. Thanks for this useful and informative hubs.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on March 06, 2013:

Vespawoolf...Thanks for your comments. You're so right that building up your immune system can help you overcome illnesses--at least get well quicker, if you become sick. How you eat plays a big role, as well as avoiding unnecessary chemicals. I appreciate the vote and sharing. Take care....Jaye

Stephanie...Thanks for taking the time to read the article all the way through, even though it is long. Sometimes it's necessary to provide a lot of information and hope people are willing to wade through it! Stay well....Jaye

Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on March 06, 2013:

Who cares if this is long: it's good, and that is what matters. The more information the better!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on March 06, 2013:

This sounds lke a terrible virus and I'm sorry you caught it. It's true, a grocery store has to be one of the dirtiest places around with all the human traffic they receive. How scary that the patient is contagious before symptoms first appear. All these points are very useful, and I agree with the sixth point of consuming natural products that can boost the immune system.

Since we live in Peru, the standards of hygiene are not always what we're accustomed to so we almost always opt to eat at home. I appreciate all the details about disinfecting the bedding, etc. of the infected person. Very useful! Thank you. Voted up and shared.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 26, 2013:

LongTimeMother....Thanks for your additional tip for preventing nasty viruses from setting up shop in one's system. I'll add a notation to my article directing readers to your helpful comment.

Garlic and raw honey are, if not in my medicine chest, nearly always in my pantry. I routinely add garlic to raw salads, which I eat almost every day, and credit it with the fact that I haven't had a cold in years.

Also, I usually buy raw honey from a local beekeeper, who sells it at the local farmers market, as its delicious taste puts that commercial stuff sold in grocery stores to shame, and I consume it sparingly most days. I'm aware that honey is beneficial for health, but I also like the flavor, adding a few drops to lemon water and also to my oatmeal.

Unfortunately, I'd used up my supply of this superior honey about a month before I sickened with norovirus. In future, I'll be careful to keep it on hand and consume it throughout the year.

Jaye

LongTimeMother from Australia on February 26, 2013:

Hi Jaye,

I'd like to offer you a sixth tip. It might help you avoid catching any further nasties.

I strongly recommend including fresh garlic and raw honey in your daily diet. Both are anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. If you don't use them for prevention, at least have them on standby for immediate use as soon as you have symptoms.

Just squash one garlic clove flat with the side of a knife to crush it, then slice it up. Add a little honey to the garlic and spread it on your toast each morning. If you're in a hurry, you can scoop it all up in a spoon, chew and swallow it and wash it all down with some nice fresh water.

The other option, if you are already feeling sick and can't stomach the thought of swallowing anything, is to fumble for a garlic clove, weakly bash it with a rolling pin or crush it beneath a plate with the weight of your aching body, and don't even bother slicing it if you think you'll cut your hand. Drop the crushed garlic clove in a glass of water, and add a big spoonful of raw honey to the glass. Drag yourself back to bed clutching the glass with the spoon still sticking out of it. Then, when you have the energy, give it a stir and start sipping the water.

Garlic and honey should be in everyone's medicine chest.

Hope your recovery is speedy. :)

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 23, 2013:

Thanks, midget38, for reading and for your comments. Yes, norovirus is dibilitating and not something anyone who's had it will want to encounter again...right? Take care....Jaye

Michelle Liew from Singapore on February 23, 2013:

Ouch! I got this just last year and yes, I was ill for a time. It's far more debilitating than the common flu...with this, you cannot move or go anywhere at all because the tummy truly hurts and you really want to throw up. Had to have an injection! Thanks for sharing this! UP ++

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 18, 2013:

Thanks for your kind words, D.Juris Stetser....I did research for the article but that was after (and because) I suffered through my own bout with norovirus. My aim in writing this article is to (hopefully) prevent those who read it from catching the dreaded virus. Stay well!

Jaye

D.Juris Stetser from South Dakota on February 18, 2013:

Jaye you've obviously done your homework here. Fantastic research, valuable information as well as so timely. and excellently organized and presented. voting Up, Awesome, Useful and Interesting....great work!

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 18, 2013:

CarolinaMuscle....Thanks. I agree with you--the norovirus is "downright nasty", and I'm sorry you caught it. I'd be willing to bet that you will try (as I will) not to get it again. Stay well!

Jaye

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on February 18, 2013:

There are some very important ideas here-- I've had it, and it's downright nasty. The preventive steps you suggest are easy enough to take when compared to the dangers involved in catching it. Great post.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 17, 2013:

Peggy...Thanks for your comments and for sharing. Hand-washing is such an easy thing to do and yet so critical to the prevention of spreading illness. We all need to make thorough washing of hands a habit that doesn't even require conscious thought. (And, believe me--I'll never eat anything on the drive home from the grocery store again! That was a powerful and painful lesson learned!)

Jaye

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 17, 2013:

Since I started out working as an operating room nurse where sterile technique was needed and expected, I have always been a frequent hand washer. It is absolutely amazing to me when I am in a public restroom and see people exiting without washing their hands. Disgusting! It is no wonder that it is so easy to pick up these viruses. Thanks for writing this. Hopefully more people will think about WASHING THEIR HANDS which is the first and best defense in addition to other things mentioned in your hub. Up and useful votes. Will also share. Glad to know that you recovered from the Norovirus. Stay well and healthy!

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 12, 2013:

Thanks so much, Dennis, for your great comments. I don't blame you for being germophobic. I thought I was a careful person until I got the norovirus, then realized I needed to be much more so from now on. Your suggestions for avoiding germs are excellent, and more people should use them.

By the way, I've noticed women leaving public restrooms without going near the hand-washing basin, so it isn't only men who can be deficient in practicing good hygiene. That's why I always use a paper towel to open the door and leave those places.

Jaye

Dennis L. Page from New York/Pennsylvania border on February 12, 2013:

Voted up and +++ Wow! Thank you for a personal hands on (no pun intended) and informative article. Truth be told, I'm a germophobic person. I pull my shirt/coat sleeves down when opening a door in a public place. I disinfect my grocery cart, including the handles, seat, the sides and any other surface I may touch. I wash my hands constantly and even carry disinfectant wipes in my car.

Germs are everywhere. When we swipe our ATM card at the store, someone else has touched that surface. When we pick up the gas nozzle at the gas station, other people have touched it also. The whole idea of being exposed just creeps me out.

I'm still shocked and amazed at the number of men (yes, we can be pigs) who frequent a public restroom to do their business, zip up their pants and merrily exit without ever going near the sink. Ewwww.

My wife's been teaching school for over 38 years and swears she has been exposed to every virus know to mankind. Luckily, she rarely becomes ill. However, she has hand sanitizers in her classroom and her students are instructed in the proper way to wash their hands. Second Graders have a tendency to find every orifice with their fingers, if you know what I mean.

Super great hub loaded with great information.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 10, 2013:

LKMore...I'm so sorry to learn that you suffered from the norovirus. Dreadful malady, isn't it? I hope to never be so ill again! I also hope to help others keep from catching it with the information contained in this article.

Thank you for your valuable feedback.

Jaye

LKMore01 on February 10, 2013:

Jaye,

This is one of the most detailed and informative articles I've read on the subject of Norovirus. Wish I had read this prior to being ill last month. You are outstanding.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 10, 2013:

Hi, Nell Rose. Catching the norovirus certainly heightened my awareness of the need to wash my hands frequently, especially after being out in public. Even though I'm completely recovered from its effects, I'm still washing my hands repeatedly like Lady MacBeth and disinfecting my kitchen and bathroom surfaces as though the virus was still present. I don't suppose a little extra cleanliness will hurt me, though!

Thanks for reading and for your comment. JAYE

Nell Rose from England on February 10, 2013:

I am so sorry you caught this horrible virus, and yes I totally understand how you could open that packet and eat without washing your hands, its easily done. I remember when we worked in one of our offices I always carried a packet of disinfectant wipes to wipe the keyboard and headset, just in case! I try and wash my hands every time I go out and come back in, I also carry a bottle of handwash with me, when anybody gets this I wear a cloth over my face and keep washing my hands! great advice, and here's hoping you are better, nell

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 08, 2013:

Thanks, Paula....I read your great hub about how to NOT catch the flu, so I know you're doing the right things. Hand-washing and using disinfectant are keys to getting rid of these viruses that make people so ill. Thanks for the vote and feedback. I join you in your toast to good health: "Here's to all of us staying healthy!"

JAYE

nancynurse...Thanks so much for your kind words and feedback. With your nursing background, especially with babies, you doubtless know how dangerous norovirus can be for little ones because they dehydrate so quickly. Following stringent hygiene practices may keep families safe.

JAYE

Nancy McClintock from Southeast USA on February 08, 2013:

Great hub. You are a gifted writer and did a great job with your research and sharing your personal story. Thanks for sharing some important information!!!

Suzie from Carson City on February 07, 2013:

Jaye...Thank you so much for this vital "heads-up." I am very vigilant during flu season. Having experienced a particular strain, a time or two, I'm like a Guard Dog about germs and exposure.....staying home and just being proactive.

I heard just recently about this dreaded norovirus. You have filled me in so well, with what we all need to know.

Here's to all of us STAYING HEALTHY.....Thanks, again, Jaye...UP+++

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 07, 2013:

Thanks for your feedback, Mary...I tried to shorten the article, but in the end decided that a great deal needed to be written to get across the message--even to sharing my (wretched) personal experience. We cannot take good health for granted, but must do whatever we can to protect it, especially in our world of runaway viruses. Good hygiene plays such an important role in that endeavor.

One thing I definitely learned from enduring norovirus is to never again touch food without first thoroughly washing my hands--one of those life lessons learned the hard way!

Stay well! Jaye

Mary Craig from New York on February 07, 2013:

Seems many have made it to the end of this hub. It is so well worth reading! I am sorry you caught this nasty thing but grateful you wrote this hub. The tips you provided are good for any virus or flu, not just the norovirus. Very helpful hub Jaye, thank you.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 06, 2013:

Justsilvie...Thanks for reading, your kind words, the vote, sharing and for your good wishes. It was SO good to feel good again once the norovirus took its leave of me! Take care and stay well....JAYE

Onegreenparachute...Thanks for reading the article, and for your feedback and sharing, as well. I am so with you in hating to throw up--even once, much less over and over for hours. I'd prefer days--even weeks--of pain instead. I hope these tips help you avoid the norovirus and stay well.

Jaye

Carol from Greenwood, B.C., Canada on February 06, 2013:

Hello Jaye and thank you for writing this very informative hub! I must tell you that I am the biggest wuss when it comes to vomiting and I SO do not want to get this horrible virus. I'm sure your tips will help! Voted up, interesting and shared.

Justsilvie on February 06, 2013:

Really Well done and very informative Hub!. Voted up and shared. Also glad you have recovered and feel well again.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 06, 2013:

aviannovice...It is an awful illness (even gruesome to read about), so I hope you steer clear of it. Thanks for your good wishes. I'm fine now.

JAYE

Bill...Yep! Typing with one's fingers crossed is a bit tricky...I do hope you and Bev get through the virus season without making the norovirus' acquaintance. You really don't want to meet that bad boy.

JAYE

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 06, 2013:

All great suggestions, Jaye! So far our family has been lucky, but I'm crossing my fingers as I type that, which is not easy to do at all. :) Here's hoping we'll make it through this year without catching this nasty bad boy.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on February 06, 2013:

Wow, what an awful illness. I couldn't imagine anything so devastating that could last so long. Glad that you have recovered.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 06, 2013:

Drbj....Thanks. Norovirus is definitely casting a pall on the cruise industry. It must be a nightmare to have a ship full of (paying) passengers fall ill when they expected to have fun.

Since my bout with the virus, I continue to frequently wash my hands with hot running water and soap. It's a good habit. Hand-washing is really the best defense when there's no vaccine or cure.

Thanks for wading through this long article and commenting. I may try to trim the text to make it more readable for those who don't like long articles.

Jaye

drbj and sherry from south Florida on February 06, 2013:

So sorry you suffered through this severe bout of Norovirus, Jaye, but happy you have recovered. This virulent strain of virus is anathema to the cruise ship industry and since it first appeared several years ago, sanitizers have been installed on most ships in almost every crevice and corner imaginable. But washing one's hands with HOT soapy water is still one of the best ways to keep the virus at bay.

Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 06, 2013:

Ghalech....Thanks for sharing your experience, terrible as it was. I'm sorry you had such a dangerous bout of norovirus, but so thankful you recovered. Viruses and bacteria of all types are truly dangerous to the human race, and you're so right that cleanliness (particularly hand washing and disinfecting surfaces) is our main weapon against them.

JAYE

mperrottet...That long contagion period (and I was told it can go even a bit beyond two weeks) is one of the reasons this awful virus is spreading and infecting so many people worldwide. People often think they're over it after the worst symptoms subside and stop taking precautions to keep from spreading it. Thanks for taking the time to read and commenting.

JAYE

Margaret Perrottet from San Antonio, FL on February 06, 2013:

Five great tips for avoiding this terrible virus. I had no idea that the contagion period is two weeks. I'll keep that in mind if anyone close to me comes down with it. Voted up, interesting and useful.