Norovirus is a highly contagious virus.
Anyone can get infected with norovirus and get sick. Also, you can get norovirus illness many times in your life. One reason for this is that there are many different types of noroviruses. Being infected with one type of norovirus may not protect you against other types.
Norovirus can be found in your stool (feces) even before you start feeling sick. The virus can stay in your stool for 2 weeks or more after you feel better.
You are most contagious
- when you are sick with norovirus illness
- during the first few days after you recover from norovirus illness.
Norovirus causes diarrhea and vomiting. It spreads easily from an infected person to others, especially in long-term care facilities. Elderly residents are more likely to become very sick or die from norovirus.
Norovirus can spread quickly in closed places like daycare centers, nursing homes, schoolsand cruise ships. Most norovirus outbreaks happen from November to April in the United States.
Below are a list of tips to help protect yourself and elderly residents from norovirus:
- Wash Your Hands
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time and avoid touching your mouth.
- Clean Surfaces
Use a bleach-based cleaner or other approved product to disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched.
- Wash Laundry
Remove and wash soiled clothes and linens immediately, then tumble dry.
- Use Gown and Gloves
Use gown and gloves when touching or caring for patients to reduce exposure to vomit or fecal matter.
- Stay Home When Sick
If you’re sick, stay home and don’t take care of or visit people in long-term care facilities for at least two days after your symptoms stop.
For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/norovirus.