Norovirus is easily spread, so if an infected person doesn’t wash their hands before handling food, they can pass the virus on to other people. You can also catch it by touching contaminated surfaces or objects.
Simple precautions will help to prevent the virus spreading:
• Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food
• Don’t share towels and flannels
• Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated with the virus – it is best to use a bleach-based household cleaner
• Wash any items of clothing or bedding that could have become contaminated with the virus. Wash the items separately and on a hot wash to ensure that the virus is killed
• Flush away any infected faeces or vomit in the toilet and clean the surrounding toilet area
• Avoid eating raw, unwashed produce. Avoid raw or lightly cooked shellfish and oysters too, because they can carry the Norovirus.
If you have norovirus, you may still be infectious for a short time after your symptoms disappear. Therefore you should avoid preparing food or having direct contact with other people for 48 hours after your symptoms disappear.
Norovirus can be easily spread in public places, for example, hospitals, nursing homes and schools, which are common because the virus can survive for several days on surfaces or objects touched by an infected person.
Avoid visiting hospitals if you have had the typical symptoms of norovirus in the past 48 hours. Some hospitals may request you avoid visiting if you’ve had symptoms within the past 72 hours. Norovirus is more serious and even more easily spread among people who are already ill. You may be asked to rearrange a medical appointment if you have had norovirus symptoms recently. The videos were made by SignHealth with help and information from the NHS. For further information or advice on Norovirus, please click NHS Choices.