You do NOT want to catch norovirus! This highly contagious illness causes your digestive tract to become inflamed, leading to severe stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.
You can feel extremely ill and throw up or have diarrhea many times a day. The sickness comes on suddenly and can last a few days. It can cause dehydration, especially in young children. If they become dehydrated, children may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy. Urination decreases and they may have a dry throat.
Norovirus is easily transmitted person-to-person via dirty hands that have been contaminated by close contact with someone who is sick with norovirus, touching surfaces contaminated with the virus, or from contaminated food or water.
Preventive measures are important in minimizing spread of norovirus in schools:
- The single best way to prevent getting norovirus is to practice proper hand washing.
- Stay at home when ill.
- Do not attend school, activities or work until 24 hours after symptoms are gone.
- Wash hands often with soap and water. Always wash hands after using the toilet, and before eating or preparing food.
- Do not share or prepare food until 72 hours after symptoms are gone.
- Wash contaminated clothes and linens in hot water. Machine dry thoroughly.
- Immediately clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces after vomiting or diarrhea with a bleach solution.
More information is available on the CDC's website.