A report of a confirmed norovirus outbreak at a school in California provides good reason to review norovirus prevention tips. According to the CDC, norovirus is "the leading cause of disease from contaminated foods in the United States; it is responsible for more illnesses than all other viruses, bacteria, and parasites combined."
For most people, being ill with norovirus consists of 1-2 days of diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach cramps, and fever. Dehyrdation is a risk, particularly among children and the elderly. Norovirus can spread quickly, especially in places like "long-term care facilities, daycare centers, schools, hotels, and cruise ships."
The CDC provides these norovirus-prevention tips on its website:
Practice proper hand hygiene: Wash your hands carefully with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers and always before eating or preparing food. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers (containing at least 62% ethanol) may be a helpful addition to hand washing, but they are not a substitute for washing with soap and water.
Take care in the kitchen: Carefully wash fruits and vegetables, and cook oysters and other shellfish thoroughly before eating them.
Do not prepare food while infected: People who are infected with norovirus should not prepare food for others while they have symptoms and for 3 days after they recover from their illness (see Norovirus: Food Handlers).
Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces: After an episode of illness, such as vomiting or diarrhea, immediately clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces by using a bleach-based household cleaner as directed on the product label or a solution made by adding 5–25 tablespoons of household bleach to 1 gallon of water.
Wash laundry thoroughly: Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with vomit or fecal matter. Handle soiled items carefully—without agitating them—to avoid spreading virus. They should be laundered with detergent at the maximum available cycle length and then machine dried.
Here is to staying healthy!