When norovirus strikes in your own home, you can be prepared to clean up after a loved one before the virus has a chance to spread to others.
Norovirus is a tiny germ that spreads quickly and easily. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it causes vomiting and diarrhea that come on suddenly. A very small amount of norovirus can make you sick. The number of virus particles that fit on the head of a pin is enough to infect more than 1,000 people.
You can get norovirus if feces or vomit from an infected person gets into your mouth. You can get it by:
- Caring for a person who is infected with norovirus and then touching your hands to your mouth
- Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus
- Touching surfaces or objects with norovirus on them and then putting your hands in your mouth
Clean it up
Vomiting and diarrhea are messy, especially with norovirus. It’s extremely important to clean up the entire area immediately after you or someone else vomits or has diarrhea. You must be very thorough when cleaning.
If you find yourself in this situation, follow these steps from start to finish to protect other people from getting sick with norovirus:
Step 1 – Put on disposable plastic gloves and a face mask
Step 2 – Wipe up vomit and poop with paper towels and throw them away
Step 3 – Clean all surfaces thoroughly with a bleach cleaner, or make your own solution (¾ cup of bleach plus 1 gallon of water)
Step 4 – Clean all surfaces again with hot water and soap
Step 5 – Remove your gloves, throw them away, and take out the trash
Step 6 – Wash all laundry that may have vomit or poop on them with hot water and soap
Step 7 – Wash your hands with soap and water
Thorough clean up helps prevent norovirus outbreaks
Cleaning-up immediately after someone with norovirus vomits or has diarrhea protects others from getting sick, and prevents norovirus outbreaks. It’s important for everyone to know the clean-up steps and other ways to prevent norovirus.
CDC and state and local health departments help to raise awareness among healthcare providers and the general public about norovirus and how to prevent it. Learn more about how health departments, CDC, and other agencies work to prevent and stop norovirus outbreaks.