Norovirus: What you can do to protect yourself and others

With the holiday season fast approaching, many of us will come into contact with more people than usual—and some of them might be sick. Being in school, going shopping, hosting family functions, and attending events are great ways to spend our time during the season, but these are also great ways to spread germs!

At this time of year, there are often more reports of norovirus in our community. Norovirus is highly contagious and everyone is susceptible to it. Symptoms of a norovirus infection have a sudden onset and can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, body aches, and sometimes fever. People typically become ill 24 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus, and symptoms usually last for one to two days. People who are infected can continue to spread the virus for up to several days after the symptoms stop.

Although there is no specific treatment for norovirus, drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration is recommended.

“Anyone who has symptoms should stay away from vulnerable people and places such as hospitals, long-term care homes, and child care centres for at least 48 hours after symptoms stop, to avoid spreading the virus,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health. “Hospital patients and long-term care home residents are particularly at risk due to their potentially weakened immune systems.”

You can protect yourself and others from norovirus and stay germ-free with proper handwashing. Proper handwashing helps protect everyone and prevents germs from spreading through contact with food and objects that an ill person has touched.

Learn more about norovirus and the importance of handwashing by visiting www.phsd.ca or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

This item was last modified on November 19, 2019