Diarrhea Home > Norovirus Prevention

Because there is no vaccine that can be used against norovirus, prevention methods for avoiding infection involve reducing the chances of being exposed to such a virus. Other norovirus prevention methods include frequent hand washing and proper handling of foods.

Norovirus Prevention: An Overview

There is no vaccine for norovirus prevention. Therefore, norovirus prevention methods involve reducing your chances of coming in contact with noroviruses.
 

Reduce Exposure to Norovirus

You can decrease your chances of coming in contact with noroviruses by following these preventive steps:
 
  • Frequently wash your hands, especially after toilet visits and changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food
     
  • Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with the virus after an episode of illness (use hot water and soap)
     
  • Flush or discard any vomit and/or stool in the toilet, and make sure that the surrounding area is kept clean
     
  • Carefully wash fruits and vegetables, and steam oysters before eating them
     
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of illness by using a bleach-based household cleaner.
     
People who are infected with norovirus should not prepare food while they have symptoms and for three days after they recover from their illness. Food that may have been contaminated by an ill person should be disposed of properly.
 

Avoid Foodborne Norovirus Infections

Prevention of foodborne norovirus disease is based on the provision of safe food and water. Noroviruses are relatively resistant to environmental challenge: They can survive freezing temperatures, temperatures as high as 140°F (60°C), and have even been associated with illness after being steamed in shellfish. Moreover, noroviruses can survive in up to 10 ppm chlorine, well in excess of levels routinely present in public water systems.
 
Despite these features, it is likely that relatively simple measures, such as correct handling of cold foods, frequent hand washing, and paid sick leave, may substantially reduce foodborne transmission of noroviruses.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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