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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
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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

What to Do When You Have 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.

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 Pahrump NV 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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado 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 Pahrump NV 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 immuni