Norovirus is a contagious virus that affects a large number of people every year. Contagion occurs through contact with an infected person, ingesting contaminated food or drink, and touching contaminated surfaces. However, there are several ways to kill the virus and prevent infection. Just pay attention to personal hygiene and keep the house disinfected.
Method 1 of 3: Killing Norovirus Through Personal Hygiene
Step 1. Wash your hands thoroughly
If you think you have come into contact with the virus, you will need to wash your hands carefully to avoid the spread of the infection. Use soap and warm water to disinfect them. Alcohol-containing hand sanitizers are usually considered ineffective against this particular virus. In particular, always wash your hands if:
- You have come into contact with a person with norovirus.
- Before and after coming into contact with an infected person.
- If you visit a hospital, even if you think you have not been in contact with infected people.
- After going to the bathroom.
- Before and after eating.
- If you are a nurse or doctor, wash your hands before and after contact with infected patients, even if you were wearing gloves.
Step 2. Don't cook for others if you are infected
If you are sick, don't touch food or cook for other people. In fact, if you do, it is almost certain that you will infect them.
If a member of your family is contaminated, don't let them cook for others. Try to limit contact between healthy family members and the sick person
Step 3. Wash your food before eating or cooking it
Wash all foods, such as meat, fruit and vegetables, thoroughly before eating or cooking them. This step is very important because norovirus tends to survive even at temperatures above 60 ° C.
Remember to wash fruit and vegetables carefully before consuming them, whether you eat them raw or cooked
Step 4. Cook the food thoroughly before eating it
Seafood and fish must be cooked completely before eating them. Quickly steaming food usually does not kill the virus, which can survive the steam. Bake or boil the fish at a temperature higher than 600 ° C if you are unsure where it came from.
If you suspect a food is contaminated, throw it away immediately. For example, if an infected family member has touched food, you should throw it away or isolate it by making sure only the infected person eats it
Method 2 of 3: Kill Norovirus in the Home
Step 1. Clean the surfaces with bleach
Chlorine bleach is an effective agent for eliminating norovirus. Buy a new pack of bleach if the one you have at home has been open for more than a month. Bleach loses some of its effectiveness if the package is left open for a long time. Before applying bleach to visible surfaces, test it in a hidden spot to make sure it won't damage the surfaces. If the surface is damaged after the test, you can also use phenolphthalein-based solutions, or pure alcohol. Bleach can be used on different surfaces, but you will have to respect the following doses:
- For stainless steel surfaces and dishes: dissolve a tablespoon of bleach in half a liter of water.
- For non-porous surfaces, such as worktops, sinks or tiles: mix a quarter of a glass of bleach in half a liter of water.
- For porous surfaces, such as wooden floors: dissolve two thirds of a glass of bleach in half a liter of water.
Step 2. Rinse the surfaces with clean water after using the bleach
After cleaning the surfaces, wait 10-20 minutes for the chemicals to work and then rinse with clean water. After, leave the room and don't go back in for an hour.
Leave the windows open if possible; Breathing bleach is bad for your health
Step 3. Clean up any areas that have come into contact with stool or vomit
In this case, you will need to follow special cleaning procedures because vomit or feces from an infected person are very contagious. To clean:
- Wear disposable gloves and consider also wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose.
- With kitchen paper, gently wipe off vomit and stool being careful not to splash or drip during cleaning.
- Use disposable cloths and bleach to clean and disinfect the area.
- Use resealable plastic bags to dispose of waste materials.
Step 4. Clean the carpets
If vomit or feces dirty the carpets, you will need to follow other steps to make sure you disinfect the area properly. Follow the following tips:
- Wear disposable gloves and if you can, also wear a mask to protect your mouth and nose.
- Use an absorbent material to clean up visible stool or vomit. Put all the contaminated material in a plastic bag, reseal it and throw in the garbage can.
- The carpet should then be steam cleaned at a temperature of 76 ° C for about five minutes; otherwise, to be faster, clean for one minute with steam at 100 ° C.
Step 5. Disinfect the clothes
If your clothes or those of your family members have been contaminated, or if you suspect they are, pay close attention to their washing. To clean clothes and linens:
- Remove any vomit or stool by wiping with kitchen paper or disposable absorbent materials.
- Put the contaminated clothes in the washing machine and use the pre-wash cycle. After this step, wash your clothes with a normal cycle and detergent. If you use the dryer, dry the contaminated clothes separately from others. The recommended temperature is 76 ° C.
- Do not wash contaminated clothes with uncontaminated ones.
Method 3 of 3: Treating Norovirus
Step 1. Recognize the symptoms
If you think you are infected, it is vital to know the symptoms. If you have contracted the virus, the following steps will help you manage the disease. Symptoms include:
- Fever. Just like other infections, norovirus causes fever, which is a tool used by the body to fight infection. The body's temperature rises, making the virus more vulnerable to the immune system. A fever of at least 38 ° C is likely to occur if you are infected with the virus.
- Headache. Fever causes blood vessels throughout the body, including the head, to dilate. The rush of blood to the head causes pressure and the protective membranes that cover the brain will ignite causing pain.
- Stomach cramps. Usually, norovirus infections attack the stomach, which can become inflamed and painful.
- Diarrhea. Diarrhea is a very common symptom; it is a defense mechanism in the body that tries to wipe out the virus.
- He retched. Just like with diarrhea, vomiting is another defense mechanism in the body that tries to eliminate the virus.
Step 2. Understand that while there is no cure, there are several ways to treat the symptoms
Unfortunately, there is no specific medicine to treat the virus; however, you can treat the symptoms. Also remember that the virus will disappear on its own.
Usually, the virus survives for a few days to a week
Step 3. Drink plenty of fluids
Water and liquids in general help keep the body hydrated; in addition, they help lower fever and reduce headaches. It is very important to drink fluids after vomiting or after a bout of diarrhea because the body is very likely to become dehydrated.
In addition to water, you can also drink ginger tea which helps control stomach pain by keeping you hydrated
Step 4. Consider taking anti-vomiting medicines
Anti-emetic medicines, such as Peridon, help relieve if vomiting is frequent.
Remember that these medicines require a prescription from your primary care physician
Step 5. See a doctor if the infection is extensive
As previously mentioned, the infection usually clears on its own within a few days. However, if the virus persists for more than a week, it is advisable to see a doctor, especially if the infected person is a child, an elderly person, or a person with compromised immune systems.
- Remember that the virus is transmissible if you touch infected surfaces and then put your fingers in your mouth.
- The virus is most contagious when the symptoms are clearly visible.