Norovirus is a common but contagious virus that causes diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Some people also experience fever, headache or body aches. Download a Norovirus fact sheet. (Español)
Who gets Norovirus?
Everyone - children and adults are all at risk.
How is Norovirus spread?
This virus is spread by having contact with the feces or vomit of another person who has the illness. Feces or vomit can accidentally get in the mouth of other people by:
- Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with the virus.
- Touching surfaces contaminated with the virus then putting your fingers in your mouth.
- Having direct contact with another person who is infected and showing symptoms (for example, when caring for someone with an illness, or sharing foods or eating utensils with someone who is ill).
How can Norovirus be prevented?
- Wash your hand frequently!
- Wash your hands if you are about to consume food or if you are around food. If you cannot wash our hands, use hand sanitizers.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom.
- Denver Public Health recommends using a 10 percent solution of household chlorine bleach (a cup of bleach per nine cups of water) to clean and disinfect more frequently than usual, bathrooms, bathtubs, toilets, and areas of the home commonly touched, such as handrails and doorknobs. Do not mix this bleach solution with other household cleaners.
- Promptly clean and disinfect any area that becomes soiled with feces or vomit with a bleach solution.
- Handle soiled linens and clothing as little as possible. They should be laundered with detergent in hot water for the longest time available and then machine dried.
- If you are sick, stay home or away from school for a minimum of 2-3 days after symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea) have ended. This will protect friends, classmates and co-workers from getting sick.
Wash your hands the right way:
- Wet your hands and rub together with soap.
- Run your hands for at least 20 seconds and hum the "Happy Birthday" song twice.
- Rinse your hands and dry using a clean towel.
When to contact your physician:
- If the illness lasts more than 24 hours.
- If the fever won't go down using ordinary means such as fluids, ibuprofen or Tylenol.
- If frequent stools occur and/or vomiting more than three times a day, dehydration may occur. If fluids aren't tolerated, see a physician.
For more information or to report an outbreak, call Denver Public Health 303-602-3614.