Norovirus: What it is and how to keep yourself from getting infected.

Norovirus is extremely contagious and affects 21 million Americans a year. Often referred to at the “stomach flu” it is responsible for 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths a year according to the San Bernardino County Health Department. It causes stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Due to the many strains of the virus you can become infected multiple times in your life. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for Norovirus, so prevention is crucial.

You can become infected with the virus if you have contact with someone who has the virus. This can happen in various ways including sharing food or drinks with someone who has the virus (they could have it and not be showing any symptoms yet and still pass along the virus), public areas can harbor the virus if not disinfected and cleaned properly.

In order to prevent yourself from picking up this terrible virus make sure to wash your hands before touching your mouth for any reason including, eating or putting on lipstick. Wash your food, as you do not know who was handling it before you bought it at the store. Most importantly if someone in your home gets the virus make sure to wash all laundry thoroughly and wash your hands each time you come into contact with the infected person.

Click here for more information on prevention and treatment of Norovirus.