March 15, 2024

How to Prevent Norovirus

Norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis (inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract) in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 19 and 21 million cases of gastroenteritis are caused by norovirus every year. The virus can lead to severe dehydration and hospitalization.

Given these staggering numbers, you may wonder, “How is norovirus spread?” Norovirus is incredibly contagious and spreads rapidly. It can persist on uncleaned surfaces for weeks, raising its spread risk. Given the potentially serious and deadly consequences of a norovirus infection, it is important to stay informed and vigilant.

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  • Practice thorough handwashing with soap and water, especially after using the restroom or handling food.
  • Disinfect surfaces and frequently touched objects to reduce the spread of norovirus.
  • Properly cook and handle food to prevent contamination and transmission of norovirus.

Norovirus Symptoms

Again, norovirus is a leading cause of foodborne illness. It typically leads to acute gastroenteritis, characterized by a sudden onset of symptoms within 12 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus. Common symptoms of norovirus include:

While norovirus is often referred to as the “stomach flu,” it is not related to influenza, which primarily affects the respiratory system. Though symptoms can be intense, healthy adults usually recover 1 to 3 days.  

However, babies, young children, older adults, and individuals with compromised immune systems may experience more extreme and long-lasting symptoms. In serious cases, norovirus can even lead to death.

How Is Norovirus Spread?

Norovirus is incredibly contagious and spreads easily. The CDC warns that even minimal exposure to viral particles can make you ill. Crowded spaces and tight quarters are most at risk for norovirus contamination. Common causes of norovirus infections include: 

How Can Businesses Prevent Norovirus?

Businesses have a legal duty to protect customers by taking reasonable measures to prevent injuries and illness. Businesses could face a norovirus lawsuit if their customers and patrons become sick when they fail to uphold this duty. Common defendants in norovirus lawsuits include: 

Some ways businesses can prevent the spread of norovirus in their establishments include:

If an employee shows signs of an infection, take every precaution to prevent norovirus contamination. Because infected individuals can spread norovirus for up to two weeks after symptoms subside, requiring a doctor’s note before allowing them to return to work may be wise, especially if they handle food.

How Can I Prevent Norovirus?

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There are numerous ways individuals can protect themselves and reduce the risk of transmitting norovirus. These include the following:

Legal Options for Norovirus Infections

If you believe you contracted norovirus due to unsafe practices at a commercial establishment, you may be entitled to legal compensation through a food poisoning lawsuit. Keep Food Safe can connect you with an experienced norovirus lawyer. Contact us today to learn more about legal support available to food poisoning victims.

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