15 Ways to Tackle Norovirus

Premier Health Now

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Fast on the heels of a spike in influenza cases comes the highly contagious, vomit-inducing norovirus. 


Like the flu, norovirus can quickly infect an entire household or school or office. 

Premier Health Now talked with Emily Neal, nurse practitioner, Premier Family Care of Mason, about how to keep yourself and your family healthy.

“Hand wash, hand wash, hand wash,” Neal says. “Wash your hands before you eat. If you are caring for a sick family member, wash your hands after every contact.”

Norovirus is commonly called the “stomach flu,” but this nasty bug is not influenza. Both viruses are super-active this time of year, though influenza gets more attention. How norovirus works may surprise you.

Norovirus causes: 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Personal hygiene
Symptoms can become severe in infants and the elderly, with dehydration a common complication, Neal says.

You can protect your family from norovirus and influenza by following these 15 tips:

Personal hygiene
 
1. Wash hands frequently
2. Avoid eating at restaurants
3. Replace toothbrushes

Isolation

4. Limit sick family members to one room of the house
5. Set aside one bathroom for sick family members 
6. Clean isolation rooms with bleach once or more each day

Cleaning

7. Use a dishwasher
8. Wash dishes with hot water
9. Do laundry with hot water
10. Clean hard surfaces with bleach
11. Use Lysol sprays to sanitize the air

Safety

12. Drink plenty of fluids; avoid soda and juice
13. Keep a log of medicine doses for each family member
14. Seek medical care if symptoms last more than three days
15. Wait until you are symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to school or work

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.