Norovirus (Norwalk Virus)

Noroviruses, also known as Norwalk viruses, are a group of viruses that are highly contagious and may cause:

  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Low grade fever
  • Chills

Symptoms last from 24 to 72 hours.

Norovirus is not a reportable disease to Public Health, but the spread of gastrointestinal illnesses are monitored throughout the region on an ongoing basis.

Prevention tips

  • Wash your hands often using soap and warm water and always:
    • After using the washroom
    • Before preparing and eating food
    • After changing diapers. Dispose of dirty diapers properly.
  • If your child is sick with norovirus, keep him or her home from daycare or school and reduce contact with other children. Do not allow children who are ill and infants in diapers in areas where food is prepared. Ensure children wash their hands thoroughly, especially if they are experiencing diarrhea.
  • People infected with the virus should not prepare food while having symptoms and for 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped
  • Keep washroom facilities clean and if possible avoid sharing washroom facilities with an infected person
  • Alcohol based hand sanitizer can be used in addition to hand washing but should not be used as a substitute for soap and water. If using alcohol based hand sanitizer, be sure it contains 70 - 90 per cent alcohol.
  • Sanitize all surfaces after preparing food and after an illness with a chlorine bleach solution
  • Discourage visitors until everyone is better and the house has been cleaned and disinfected
  • A health care worker, food handler or child care worker should be excluded until 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped in the event of an outbreak

Tips for cleaning up diarrhea and vomit

  • Wear disposable gloves and clean hands after removing gloves
  • Use paper towel to soak up extra liquid
  • Dispose of paper towel in a plastic garbage bag
  • Disinfect entire surface area with a chlorine bleach based cleaner (one part bleach to 10 parts water)
  • Immediately remove and wash or discard clothes/linens that are soiled. Wash with detergent at a maximum cycle and machine dry.
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