How to Prevent the Spread of Norovirus

Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, is a highly contagious stomach bug that affects people of all ages – at any time of year. Causing vomiting and diarrhoea, it can lead to severe dehydration, although it is not usually dangerous and most people recover fully.

It can be very unpleasant though, and those who are already ill are more susceptible to infection, so you need to know how to prevent norovirus spreading in your hospital or care home. Norovirus can be prevented by demonstrating good hygiene and using effective cleaning and disinfecting products.

Norovirus Symptoms

The symptoms of norovirus are generally:

  • Feeling sick, followed by vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Raised temperature
  • Headaches and/or aching limbs
  • Stomach cramps

How to Prevent the Spread of Norovirus

Norovirus is easily spread, mainly through contact with infected people or contaminated objects, so you should take the following precautions to prevent it spreading:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after using the toilet or when preparing food – and use hand sanitisers too.
  • Wash bedding, towels and clothing thoroughly on a hot wash.
  • Disinfect surfaces thoroughly – the virus can survive for several days on surfaces touched by infected people.
  • Keep toilet areas clean and ensure that toilets are flushed after use.
  • Ensure food is cooked through and piping hot before serving.

Those infected might still be contagious, even after their symptoms have gone. So be vigilant and ensure your infection control policy is followed at all times. If anyone shows symptoms of severe dehydration, or if symptoms persist for more than 2-3 days, seek medical attention.

For more information on preventing Norovirus,
call the Cairn Care Home Team on 0845 226 0185. 


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