5 Tips to Avoid Catching or Spreading a Stomach Virus (Norovirus)

What Is Norovirus?

It’s called “stomach bug” or “stomach flu”, but it isn't influenza and has nothing to do with flu. In the UK, it's known as "the winter vomiting bug." Its medical name is viral gastroenteritis and the most common type is the Norovirus. It's a bug that continues to mutate, with new strains emerging every few years. The bad news is they’re getting stronger.

The main Norovirus season is winter and spring, but it can appear in any season and can strike year-round. Why does it infect more people during winter? Although there's no consensus, even among scientists, it may be because people stay indoors, in closer proximity to others, for more time. Indoor heat makes the air drier (drying the mucous membranes of the nose), there is less ventilation, and everyone is breathing the same air. This environment is like an incubator for both viruses and bacteria.

There is no vaccine to prevent Norovirus. Researchers are working to develop one, but the same aspects of the virus that make it so difficult to kill also hinder a vaccine’s development. There is hope as a vaccine in testing phases shows promise of, if not preventing the Norovirus, at least reducing severity of symptoms. (At one time, Rotavirus caused a dangerous viral gastroenteritis, particularly among infants and small children, but there are now two effective vaccines against that virus, so bio-scientists working on a vaccine for Norovirus are optimistic.)

Is it possible to avoid catching or spreading the Norovirus? Perhaps. There are some things you can do that may protect you and your family, described in these five tips. They’re certainly worth trying.

1. Wash Hands Frequently With Soap and Water

Your mom was right!

Any public surface you touch may be contaminated with Norovirus. The Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC) warns not to rely on those little bottles of hand sanitizer many people carry. While sanitizers may protect you against cold and flu viruses, it is not effective against Norovirus.

  1. Wash your hands, including wrists and lower arms, with soap (lots of lather) and hot (or at least warm) running water for a full minute, preferably two.
  2. Rinsing thoroughly.
  3. Dry your hands on clean paper toweling. Germs and viruses spread when everyone uses and re-uses cloth towels.

2. Clean, Cook, and Eat Food at Home


Food preparation and handling is a major infection path. All public food establishments, from the most up-scale restaurant to fast-food drive-throughs, have a sign posted in restrooms used by employees. It reads: WASH YOUR HANDS! Do you really believe that all food handlers thoroughly wash their hands every time they go to the bathroom?

The Norovirus season can last through winter into late spring. If you must eat at a restaurant during this time, choose well-cooked foods, nothing raw or rare. Shellfish and salad ingredients are most often implicated in Norovirus outbreaks. You should also avoid foods containing sticky dairy products, such as cheese, which actually help the virus cling to plates.

Your kitchen may not be free of problems, but you do have more control over conditions. It's a good habit to always wash all counter-tops with a disinfecting solution before food preparation. Use paper towels, not reusable sponges (which soak up germs more than they do anything else), or cloths for cleaning and drying. And wash your hands thoroughly before you touch food as well as afterward, particularly when handling meat.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the use of a chlorine bleach solution for killing Norovirus, but most people hesitate to use bleach routinely because it can cause discoloration. Clorox now sells a retail product containing a stronger hydrogen peroxide than the 3% most people keep in their medicine cabinets, and it's guaranteed to kill the Norovirus in only a few seconds. It's Clorox Healthcare Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner. It comes in a spray bottle and in a tub of 155 pre-moistened wipes. It's promoted as having the fastest non-bleach disinfecting times available. Even though the cost is high, if you consider its protection against Norovirus (and 37 other viruses and bacteria, including TB and HIV) and want that protection, you will likely decide the price is right. It's the only non-commercial brand of disinfectant (as of this writing) formulated to kill Norovirus, TB and HIV.

Wipe down all counter-tops, stove, sink, faucet and handles, even drawer pulls with a disinfectant before you prepare food. Go through the same process after meals once the dishwasher is loaded. Mop the kitchen floor with a solution containing hydrogen peroxide or bleach, wash out the mop, then rinse the floor with clear water on a different mop.

Wash all uncooked foods, especially produce or fruit that will be eaten raw. Here’s an effective homemade solution for cleaning produce: 1 cup distilled white vinegar; 3 cups water; 1 tablespoon salt. Mix in a bowl and soak leafy greens or other veggies for two minutes. Rinse thoroughly. You can also put it in a clean spray bottle and spray on raw meat, rinse after two minutes, and cook meat until well done, not rare.

When shopping for foods, especially produce, seafood and meats, look at labels and avoid food from sources (countries) that do not enforce safety standards in their production. Do you really want to eat shellfish and other seafood from contaminated water or vegetables that may have been irrigated with sewage water? (I don't think so!)

Tip: Choose Hottest Dishwasher Setting

Don’t think you can get rid of the virus by hand-washing dishes, because you can’t get the water hot enough. Instead, wash all dishes in your dishwasher using the hottest water setting (a “sanitize” cycle, if you have it) and hot air dry.

3. Teach Children to Protect Themselves

Viruses spread through schools and daycare facilities like wildfire, and kids bring the virus home to the rest of the family. Even young children can be taught the importance of hand washing and how to do it properly.

Lightly spray their backpacks with disinfectant and wipe their books, notebooks, pencils, etc. with it every day after school. Dry with clean paper toweling. Include a small bottle of hospital-quality sanitizer for emergencies, but make sure your kids know it doesn't take the place of soap and water hand-washing.

For younger children, tape a “cheat sheet” inside the flap of a backpack or notebook as a reminder:

  1. Wash your hands with soap every chance you get, especially after using the bathroom or touching a doorknob or other object someone else has touched. If you can't get to soap and water, use the sanitizer in your backpack.
  2. Don't touch your face with your hands.
  3. Don't eat anything from someone else's lunch or snack.
  4. Stay away from anyone who seems sick--even your friends.
  5. Wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you get home from school. Don't eat an after-school snack until your hands are clean.

The more repetitive you are with the message to your children that hand-washing can help keep them from getting sick (and, therefore, unable to play or watch TV—which may carry more weight at a certain age), the more likely they are to remember and practice it. You don't want to give your kids phobias about viruses and germs, but you can teach them about preventing icky illnesses without being a nag. Teach by example.

Make your children’s lunches from healthy foods they like and let them “brown-bag” instead of eating food prepared in the school cafeteria. Include their favorite foods, including a healthy snack you know they enjoy. The food handlers in schools aren’t any more likely to follow thorough hand-washing procedures than those who work in restaurants. Sad, but unfortunately, true. Protecting your children’s health requires your active involvement.

If you have children young enough for daycare, talk to the management and the hygiene procedures used to prevent spreading contagious illnesses among children and staff. Ask what their policy is about how long employees stay away from work when they have a virus or other contagious sickness. If they don't seem receptive, remind them that keeping everyone healthy means less work time lost for their business and share the tips in this article for disinfecting and hand-washing. Lucky are the parents who have at-home childcare, but that's out of reach for the average family. In the end, you do what you can do.

4. Protect Yourself at Work

Prepare your own healthy lunch at home and take it to work in a disposable bag. You will touch numerous objects potentially infectious while working, so wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water before you eat. If any of your coworkers appear to feel bad or mention “getting over” a stomach bug, keep your distance from them. You aren’t being rude—you’re protecting yourself and your family.

Some companies insist that sick employees stay home from work until they’re no longer contagious to avoid infecting their coworkers. (A viral epidemic can sweep through a place of business like a strong wind and knock out half the workforce.)

Unfortunately, other companies’ policies regarding illness and sick leave are less progressive and require people to be at work unless they’re hospitalized. Such employers are short-sighted, as more productivity is lost when people don’t feel well enough to work and contagion spreads.

It is rare for food workers to have paid sick leave, so many go to work when they’re ill because they can’t afford to take unpaid time off. This is an unfortunate and dangerous situation that contributes immensely to the spread of the Norovirus.

In the U.S. alone, about 21 million people get sick from Norovirus every year, with an average of 70,000 hospitalized and 800 deaths, (and these statistics don’t include illnesses and deaths from other food-borne outbreak contaminants.) It’s easy to deduce that a major factor in these outbreaks is the spread of contagion by food handlers.

5. Be Smart About Germs if Sickness Strikes

In spite of all you do to avoid Norovirus, someone in your family may get it anyway. Any store where you go shopping is an ideal place to contract this virus. By the way, if you carry reusable cloth shopping bags, wash them in hot water with bleach after every use. An outbreak was traced to snacks eaten from a reusable bag.

Use hot water and bleach for a sick person's laundry.
Use hot water and bleach for a sick person's laundry. | Source

After Vomiting and Diarrhea

After vomiting and diarrhea end, the patient should take a warm shower with lots of soapy lather. Leave the water running for a few minutes after exiting the shower stall to wash virus particles down the drain. Then clean the shower stall with a disinfectant, preferably chlorine bleach-based. All towels, washcloths and used sleepwear should be carefully placed in a plastic garbage bag until they can be put into the washer and laundered.

All bed linens should be stripped from the bed and laundered. All laundry used by the infected person should be washed on the longest and hottest washer setting, with bleach. When removing soiled sheets and other bedclothes, take the ends and fold them inward toward the middle carefully to avoid scattering minute bits of the virus that may cling to the cloth. Put into a plastic garbage bag and tie it until it can be carried to the laundry area, where items should be removed in a careful manner and placed into the washer. Thorough hand-washing should follow handling contaminated fabrics.

Does this sound like an enormous amount of work? Make no mistake—it is—but it’s necessary if someone in your family contracts the norovirus. You don’t want it to spread to the entire family. Remember how long the virus can stay alive and you should agree: all traces of virus must be eradicated from the area where the patient stayed (bedroom to bathroom) while ill.

Is There a Vaccine?

There is no vaccine to prevent Norovirus. Researchers are working to develop one, but the same aspects of the virus that make it so difficult to kill also hinder a vaccine’s development. There is hope as a vaccine in testing phases shows promise of, if not preventing the Norovirus, at least reducing severity of symptoms. (At one time, Rotavirus caused a dangerous viral gastroenteritis, particularly among infants and small children, but there are now two effective vaccines against that virus, so bio-scientists working on a vaccine for Norovirus are optimistic.)

There’s currently no treatment for the Norovirus. Antibiotics have no effect against viruses, only against bacteria. If you catch Norovirus, you’re in for a wretched illness, one you essentially just have to ride out. The best you can do is rest and sip water to prevent dehydration once the active phase (vomiting and diarrhea) ends.

The latest mutation of Norovirus is the Sydney strain, dominant in Norovirus outbreaks spreading epidemically throughout the world in winter 2012 and 2013. Symptoms include: nausea and forceful vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, headache and fever. Vomiting and diarrhea usually stop after a miserable ten to twelve hours. Other symptoms may last a week or more.

Norovirus is not usually dangerous for most people, but can be deadly for the elderly, the very young or anyone with a compromised immune system. The main dangers are dehydration and the possibility of fainting and sustaining injuries in a fall. This is probably what caused former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to pass out, sustaining a concussion and blood clot, in December of 2012. She likely picked up the Norovirus on her travels.

More bad news. Illness strikes within two or three days of exposure; however, contagion precedes symptoms. If that isn’t bad enough, the sufferer may remain contagious after symptoms end for two weeks or even longer.

The virus, which spreads on surfaces touched by an infected person and through tiny droplets aerosolized in the air from vomit, is very hard to kill. It is considered a very "robust" virus because it is so hardy and can live for a long time, especially on hard surfaces.

When an infected person flushes the toilet, particles of virus may spray into the air. If contaminated surfaces are not thoroughly disinfected, the Norovirus remains alive and able to infect people who come in contact with it for a long time. A person can become infected with Norovirus from as little as one or two droplets!


Norovirus Knocked Me Flat!

I wish I’d read an article like this a month before I wrote it . . . before I caught the Norovirus. I’m a retired homebody, so I know for certain where I caught this virus: at my local supermarket.

At the store on a Thursday afternoon one item purchased was a box of organic graham crackers. I’d skipped lunch and was hungry, so I opened the package in the car and ate a couple of crackers on the way home before washing my hands. Everything I touched in the store had undoubtedly been touched by hundreds of other people. Someone among them left behind the norovirus.

Norovirus has a brief incubation period. By 6:00 p.m. Saturday evening, I suddenly grew violently ill and went through the norovirus version of hell until 5:00 a.m. Sunday morning. By then I was so weak I felt in danger of passing out. At 5:30, I phoned my adult son and asked him to call and check on me periodically. I refused his offer to come to my house because I didn’t want him to catch the virus.

Fortunately, I keep a large glass of water on my bedside table, because I couldn't have walked as far as the kitchen that morning. I stayed in bed most of Sunday, managing to keep down a few sips of water periodically. The water staved off dehydration, and I slept for about an hour.

Drink lots of water to rehydrate.
Drink lots of water to rehydrate. | Source
Good dog!
Good dog! | Source

My dog realized I was sick (she’s very smart), and she lay across the bottom of my bed and did not bark to go outdoors. When I woke from my nap, I ventured carefully out of bed and washed my hands. I administered her eye medication, fed her and took her just outside the back door on leash. Usually, she wants to walk around the yard before her “potty break”, but that day she got down to business immediately, bless her heart. As it was, I barely made it back to bed. I was very thankful that Norovirus doesn't pass from humans to dogs.

I was so grateful when I stopped throwing up; nevertheless, nausea, severe stomach cramps, a continuous headache and fever persisted. Sunday evening, I showered and donned clean pajamas, stripped my bed and carried the dirty bedclothes to the laundry room--a long walk! While the load washed, I took my dog out again, then sat at my computer for about twenty minutes. I briefly felt a bit better and mistakenly thought I was getting over the virus. By the time I lay down on clean sheets, the persistent symptoms were back. This pattern continued for a week, and I spent a lot of time resting. It took twelve days for me to fully recover.

I Hope You Avoid This Horrid Virus

Now you know my reason for writing this article. I experienced the misery of the Sydney strain of Norovirus (verified by my doctor’s nurse when I described my symptoms in a detailed phone call), and I want to help others avoid it if at all possible.

Please use these tips while the Norovirus season and epidemic last. In fact, you should follow them year-round. Norovirus is not an illness you want to experience. I hope you and your family will stay well.

Note: Another tip for staying healthy and keeping nasty viruses at bay was offered by a reader of this article. (I encourage you to read this information from LongTimeMother in the Comments section, below.) She recommends regular use of garlic and raw honey as possible preventives of illness. Both garlic and honey have long been known to contain properties beneficial to health. It will be great if they can also keep us safe from Norovirus!

Anything you can do to boost your immune system may protect you from viruses and bacterial illnesses. That includes regularly consuming probiotics in yogurt or kefir (though not without the consent of your doctor if you have a compromised immune system or are undergoing chemotherapy), eating raw or lightly-steamed fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants (beta-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E), plus foods with zinc and selenium. If you can't get enough of these protective nutrients in your food every day, take a high-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement.

© 2013 Jaye Denman

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Comments 101 comments

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 23 months ago from Deep South, USA Author

CF80 - Thanks for reading and sharing your tips. Anything that strengthens the immune system is good for helping us fight off illnesses. Stay well this norovirus season! Regards, Jaye

CF80 23 months ago

Hi Jaye!

Great article! I wanted to give you and other readers some helpful tips that I personally employ as an extreme emetophobic. 100% grape juice is your friend! It changes the pH level of your stomach, making it uninhabitable for the virus, downside; it's only a preventative, once you have it, it's too late. Benadryl can help ease or altogether stop the vomiting phase by retarding the muscle contraction needed for emensis to happen. Also, probiotics can help in not catching the virus. I use Tummy Tuneup and Gut Guardian by Beeyoutiful, a healthy intestinal tract will help your overall health anyway. Also, black elderberry will toughen up your immune system, taken twice daily (Sambucol). All of these will help your immune system overall, but the first two will help safeguard against noro. I watched my poor daughter go through this and swore to prevent it from happening again, as best as I could.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 23 months ago from Deep South, USA Author

George – You’re quite right about the value of hand-washing for illness prevention. It’s simple and easy to do, but also easily overlooked, especially when people are in a hurry. We all should wash our hands frequently during ‘contagious virus’ season. Thanks for reading and your comment. Regards, Jaye


Paula, my girl – We have to take care of ourselves if we don’t want to go through the misery of a virus attack, and I never want that again. The memory is still too horribly vivid. I’m sure people who see me using my disinfectant wipes think I’m a germaphobe, but who cares if the practice helps protect me from viruses?

Methinks common sense should stop people from going on cruises during the height of the norovirus season after so many shipboard outbreaks! But then, I hibernate year-round, and my ‘travel’ these days is rarely more than ten miles from home. A recent worthy exception: my grandson and his lovely bride were married this past Friday, and it was a joy to be there—especially since I rode with my son and daughter-in-law.

I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season too, and thanks for the vote/feedback/pin/tweet. Take care and be well….Jaye


Hi, Mary – Thanks for reading this again. Repetition helps the memory, I’ve found (MY memory, anyway). Yes, I’m well, though a bit tired and overworked for a ‘retiree’, LOL. I'm not complaining, as I'm glad to have the work. Hope you are well also, and have a happy holiday season. Jaye


Audrey – I hope this year will prove the exception for you and that you’ll stay well. This is such a busy time of year, and no one wants to lie in bed feeling lousy while everyone else is enjoying the season. Thanks for reading, the vote and sharing. Take care….Jaye

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 23 months ago from Nashville Tn.

Appreciate these 5 tips to avoid the flu. Even with a flu shot I get it every year. Voted up and more and will certainly share. Thanks. Audrey

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York

I came back to read as this is so appropriate for this time of year! Well done. Hope you are well.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 23 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Jaye.....Tis that time of year to put our guard up. This article is packed with sound, useful advice we need to heed. Just thinking about this dreaded illness can make me sick.

The truth is, it's up to each of us to be alert and use common sense when it comes to the spread of viruses. Of course, for those of us whose immune systems are more frail as we age, we simply can't be lax.

Basically Jaye, I have accepted that hibernation is not such a bad idea. Low exposure seems to work best. It never hurts to slow down and take 2 or 3 months to enjoy solitude anyway, now does it.

Here's wishing you a healthy, happy season from start to finish...UP++pinned & tweeted.

georgescifo profile image

georgescifo 23 months ago from India

washing your hands properly is one of the best and simple ways of spreading stomach virus and most of the time we tend to ignore this simple step.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 23 months ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you so much, Jo, for sharing this article. Every time I read a news report about a big outbreak of Norovirus, I feel so bad for those people. That is one misery-making virus! Since experiencing its wrath, I follow my own tips to avoid catching it again and hope others will too. Stay well!


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 23 months ago

So glad to hear you are doing much better. Thank you for sharing this very important information! I always carry with me hand sanitizer to make sure that my hands are clean. I also keep my hands away from my face, and when I have an itch I will use my knuckle instead of my nail, especially when I am shopping. Voted this up for useful, interesting and there should be an *Awesome* button!

I have shared this to help get this message out.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Annart - I'm so sorry your friend caught a virus and was ill during your cruise vacation, but glad you stayed well. Cruise ships and other places where a lot of people are in close proximity are prime targets for norovirus and other contagious illnesses, including food-borne sickness.

You're right about hand-washing being key to prevention. A powerful disinfectant is good to have on hand.

Thanks for reading and for sharing your story. Regards....Jaye

annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

I went with a friend on a cruise ship March 2013; we'd been told that the norovirus has been on board and that the ship had been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

The bug broke out again and several people went down with it. We had specific instructions and there were gel-dispensers everywhere. I saw people refuse to use them, I saw people use toilets and not wash hands. My friend caught it; we of course shared a cabin and I thought, 'That's it, then, me next.' However, I was lucky or maybe I'm more robust than I thought - I escaped it. Victims were confined to barracks for 36 hours and had to be signed out by the ship's doctor. Horrible virus, though fairly quickly over for most. At least she managed to see the Northern Lights despite the virus! Some good timing at least!

Great advice and clear instructions on how to avoid it and deal with it - water is the key! They also gave my friend a special solution which helped.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Au fait - It IS getting to be 'that time of year again', and I appreciate your sharing this hub. The tips for avoiding (or at least, not spreading) norovirus are helpful for other viruses and even bacterial infections. Since the enterovirus is targeting children now, the handwashing and disinfectant wipes can be very beneficial with kids back in school. Thanks for sharing.



Shyron - I've never had a migraine, but I've witnessed others who suffer from them become very ill. Still, I've had 18 surgeries and live with chronic pain, but the norovirus made me feel worse than anything else I can recall. I never want it again! I keep a tub of those special disinfectant wipes on hand and carry a few in a plastic bag inside my handbag when I leave home. STAY WELL, dear friend. JAYE


Sujaya Venkatesh- Thanks for reading and for your feedback. I hope this information proves helpful to you. JAYE

sujaya venkatesh profile image

sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

a beneficial hub

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Here I am the bad penny turning up again. Saw you in Au fait's PrunedNewz and I thought I read this before and I did and now I am back.

Voted up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting. Will share.

Some good tips in here. I know the upset stomach that comes with a migraine must be like being sick from norovirus.

Have a blessed day and stay well.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

It's getting to be that time of year when people have colds and flu again. Posting this to FB, pinning this to Awesome HubPages, and sharing in hopes that people will take precautions to stay healthy. Washing hands correctly is the first defense and the easiest too. Hope people avail themselves of soap and water and stay healthy this year.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Mel. I'm glad you aren't highly susceptible to the various 'bugs' that make the rounds. When I was younger, I rarely caught anything--even when traveling (except for once on a trip to Nashville that turned into a nightmare, both there and on the flight home).

Unfortunately, my immune system isn't as strong in my older years, and I know I had norovirus shortly before I wrote this article and probably had it or its 'first cousin' a couple of years before that. So now I'm hyper-careful to do everything I can to avoid catching it again. I only hope this hub will help others avoid it too.

Thanks for reading and your comments. Jaye

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

Great hub! Strangely enough, I used to suffer from stomach ailments like this all the time as a youngster, but as an adult I rarely if ever catch this sort of bug. The last one I had was about 15 years ago when we went to Las Vegas. I am sure I picked up something in the hotel room. I can never stay in a hotel room without catching something. A good idea for travelers would probably be to disinfect every sink or bathroom surface in the hotel before touching it. These are excellent tips, and thanks for keeping us informed with your periodic updates at the end.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Oh, Leslie - How terrible that everyone got so ill! Did the church leadership share a meal or some type of fingerfood refreshments together? Norovirus is often spread through foods prepared by someone harborig the virus.

When large groups are together, just touching a doorknob or other object that an infectious person's touched without washing his or her hands is all it takes to catch the illness. And, because the norovirus stays active for a week to ten days even after symptoms are gone, people often go to public or private places and mingle with groups thinking they are no longer contagious when, in fact, they are. In fact, surfaces may have traces of the virus (and it only takes a drop or two to infect you) after the ill person has left the premises. Until disinfected, those surfaces can cause illness for quite some time.

That's why I carry with me the disinfectant wipes mentioned in my article that are guaranteed to kill the norovirus (and many others) in seconds when I go someplace. I use them to wipe anything that someone else is likely to have touched and wait a few seconds before I touch it. I never want to suffer through norovirus again!

Stay well (and please share these tips with your friends at church to keep them well also).

Regards, Jaye

LeslieAdrienne profile image

LeslieAdrienne 2 years ago from Georgia

Last summer most of our church leadership came down with it within 24 hours of one another... we still do not know the source... It was horrible!

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

VocalCoach - I am so sorry you and the others in your home suffered this devastating virus and can relate to your feeling that you were so sick you "...just wanted to die." It probably has that effect on everyone who catches it. Such misery! I never want to feel that awful again. That is why I keep the Clorox Healthcare disinfectant on hand all the time since I had the norovirus and frequently wash my hands thoroughly every day. Thanks for the vote and sharing these tips. Stay well....Regards, JAYE

Davenstan - How terrible that your little girl was so ill with norovirus. It's difficult enough for an adult to cope with such a terrible sickness, and, as a mother, I'm sure it was dreadful for you to see your child in such misery. The virus spreads like wildfire through schools and other places children gather in groups, so it was good that you notified the dance school of its presence. I am so glad you didn't get the virus while pregnant in your first trimester, which could have been dangerous for your baby as well as yourself.

Your use of bleach was probably the action that kept the rest of your family from catching the virus from your daughter. (Good thinking!) Clorox Healthcare disinfectant works in seconds to kill norovirus (as well as other viruses and bacteria on surfaces), yet doesn't have the harsh effects of chlorine bleach and doesn't bleach colors out of fabrics. I never let my supply run out, and I use it regularly and tell everyone I know about it. (No, I don't have any association with The Clorox Company...haha. I'm just grateful to them for this product. Otherwise, I'd be purchasing a more costly industrial brand such as hospitals use.) I hope your family stays well and never has norovirus again.....Regards, JAYE

davenstan profile image

davenstan 2 years ago

This happened to my 6 year old daughter after being in dance class. I called the dance school to warn them that my daughter contracted an illness after returning from dance class. My husband took her to the emergency room for treatment and she appeared to get better within 12 hours. At this time I was 8 weeks pregnant myself with a healthy son and husband. I literally washed everything in bleach and anything I could think of to fight against the illness. It was the longest week of my life. Thanks for the colorox tip. I will be purchasing that as soon as possible.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

There are 3 adults in my household including me. We all came down with Norovirus within 1 day of each other. I was so sick I wanted to just die. This is a terrible illness and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

I found this hub to be very useful and how I wish everyone could read it. I will do my part by sharing this hub everywhere!

Voted up and more and thank you so much!

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Shyron - I practice what I preach about preventing this (and other) nasty virus(es). I use those strong disinfectant wipes and carry several with me in a zippered plastic bag. Washing my hands frequently with soap and rinsing thoroughly is a habit. I wash produce thoroughly and keep my kitchen and bathroom surfaces wiped down with disinfectant. And I don't eat at restaurants any more, though I realize that isn't practical for most people. I don't ever want to be that sick again!

I appreciate the share. Have a good weekend! Jaye

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Jaye, I am back to read this again. You did a wonderful job of researchying this article and the tips to avoid Norovirus. Thank you.

Voted up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting. Will share.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

kerlund74 - I hope your family avoids the norovirus during the epidemic season in your country. Here in the U.S. both norovirus and H1N1 flu are rampant

Helping children develop the good habit of thorough hand-washing by teaching them it can help them stay well is half the battle. Most children--even the younger ones--don't like the idea of getting a virus that makes them very sick. Thanks for reading and best wishes....JAYE

kerlund74 profile image

kerlund74 2 years ago from Sweden

A really useful hub! In sweden we have the worst months right now. At home all these are things that one should do:) At school it is harder... But well the children gladly wash there hands in school just to avoid illness.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, Tamie - Thanks for the info about Spray Nine. I'm always glad to learn of helpful products available on Amazon. I'll check it out.


Tamie 2 years ago

Just wanted to note that we have had good luck using a cleaner called Spray Nine (available on Amazon and at some auto supply stores) which is registered to kill norovirus. I keep it on hand at all times and have found it easy to grab when someone is sick and I haven't had a chance to make up a bleach solution.

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JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Julie - I'm so glad if my article helps you avoid norovirus while you're in treatment and your immunity is low. You have enough health issues just now without that horrible virus, and your concentration should be on getting completely well.

Thanks for providing the link to a less expensive source for the disinfectant wipes. I never leave my home without putting several of them in a plastic bag and carrying them with me in my handbag. Be well. Regards, Jaye

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JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, Shyron - Once (having norovirus) was enough for me, and I'll do everything possible to avoid it again. I'm glad you haven't suffered with it and hope you'll follow these tips to prevent getting it. The reports I've read about the various cruise ship gastro illnesses all state that the symptoms are consistent with norovirus (and it's everywhere). Be safe! Jaye

Peg - Bless your heart! I'm so sorry you've just been through the worst of norovirus, but glad you learned how long it lasts before you exposed your mom. Now that I keep on hand the new Clorox disinfectant that guarantees killing norovirus quickly, I pack several of the wipes in a plastic zipper bag and take them with me to the grocery store to thoroughly wipe anything on the cart that I'll touch. I use the others to wipe my hands before touching the car door handle and steering wheel, as well as wiping off my handbag. (Purses get set down in so many "buggy" places that it's a good practice to disinfect yours frequently.)

You may not feel up to par for another week and will likely remain contagious, so take it easy and take good care of yourself.

Aren't dogs wonderful? I think they do sense when humans are sick and don't make demands of us then.

Regards, Jaye

P.S. I lived in the Dallas area for eight years and loved it there.

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Hello Jaye, First I must say I'm sorry you had this virus and so glad you wrote about it to share your learned lessons. I found this hub just in the nick of time as I was headed across the street this morning to take care of my Mom. Now, I know I may still be contagious and better wait another couple of days. Over the past weekend, I experienced the identical symptoms you described right down to the trip to the grocery store. Usually I wash my hands immediately when I come home, but for some reason, I delayed that time. This is a dreadful illness that leaves you feeling weak in the legs, fatigued and leary of eating anything ever again.

During all this, my poor dogs knew something was terribly wrong and they did their best to make their outside trips short and productive. It is amazing how they can sense our needs. I'm hoping the worst is over and that we won't pass it back and forth again.

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Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Jaye, I am glad you got rid of that nasty bug. I have been fortunate, so far, (knocking on wood (i.e. Knocking on my forehead).) I wonder if this bug is what is infecting the Cruse ships?

Voted up, UI and shared.

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JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you so much, Au fait, for sharing this hub again. (I have a link to your hand-washing hub on it, too.) This is the worst time of year for illnesses caused by viruses, and people should do everything possible to protect themselves and their families. These viruses (including flu) seem to be mutating and becoming more severe...even fatal for some people. It's worth the effort to avoid them.

Stay warm, safe and healthy! JAYE

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

This is an excellent article and great information and advice for avoiding not only what is referred to as 'stomach flu,' but colds and flu generally. As you know, I have written about how to correctly wash one's hands, and that is the first defense against catching and spreading disease of all kinds.

It seems to me the flu season is looming and now is a good time for people to think how they might go about avoiding the flu, colds, and other miseries that are so common this time of the year. Everyone needs to read this if they haven't already, and review it if they have read it previously. Voting it up useful/awesome and sharing! Also, pinned to my 'Health' board on Pinterest.

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JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Audrey - This virus is especially hardy--all the more reason to do everything possible to avoid catching it. Thanks for reading....Jaye

Rebecca - You're very welcome. Stay well! Jaye

Hackslap - You're right that regular good hygiene practices can help keep all types of contagious illnesses at bay. This requires vigilance, but is definitely worth the effort. Thanks for the "thumbs-up" vote.....Jaye

Hackslap profile image

Hackslap 2 years ago from Sydney, Australia

This is an excellent article! .. Its simply daily hygiene routines which can help defeat any virus really ..Good read..thumbs up!

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rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Thank you SO much for tips on how to avoid that nasty bug.

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AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

I didn't know that the contagious period was so long--good to know!!

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JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, Shyron - Your poem is funny, but I hope we will prove the exception rather than the rule. I'm certainly doing all the things that may protect me from catching flu or any other viruses. I never want to catch norovirus again (or have it catch me)!

Thanks for the vote, feedback and sharing. Jaye

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Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Jaye, tis the season to catch the flu, and hard to avoid no matter what you do. I don't know why its called catch the flu, when it is what just caught me and you.

Voted up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting. Will share.

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JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

vibesites - Thanks for reading and for your comments. Thorough handwashing is a good hygiene practice that can actually save lives, and it's so easy to do. Everyone should make a habit of handwashing.


vibesites profile image

vibesites 2 years ago from United States

Washing your hands thoroughly is one of the best ways of preventing the spread of bacteria that spread any kind of sickness yet we take this for granted. It's time that we practice good hygiene; it's for our own good in the end. Thanks for your very useful tips. :)

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

WhiteMuse - I'm sorry you were ill and hope you are fully recovered. The dangerous illness reported in San Francisco is Mennigococcal Disease. It does carry a high mortality rate, though there are vaccines to protect against it. The two cases in SF were isolated to try to control spread of the disease.

There's a very good description of this disease, its symptoms, treatment and prevention on Wikipedia.

Take care,


WhiteMuse profile image

WhiteMuse 3 years ago from San Francisco

I was just sick and vomiting recently. So I was worried about it. I just had a feeling to look at yours here and I saw this. There is also a very serious disease in San Francisco now. It is monococcus or something like that. It can cause death 50% of the time I read. There were two cases. So I was worried but it was not that. You can get it from sharing a cigarette etc. There's also a typhoid warning for eating at Nordstrom. That is strange.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks for reading and adding to the discussion about norovirus, Debby. I have become something of a fanatic about hand-washing since my experience with the misery it causes.

This is the information my research revealed about incubation and contagion length of the norovirus:

"More bad news. Illness strikes within two or three days of exposure; however, contagion precedes symptoms. If that isn’t bad enough, the sufferer may remain contagious after symptoms end for two weeks or longer."

The point you made about staying hydrated is a crucial one. It's so easy to become dehydrated with a stomach virus. After my initial night of extreme illness, I managed to sip water periodically the next day even though stomach cramps persisted long after the other symptoms eased.

Again...thanks for the read and comments.



Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 3 years ago

Dear Jaye - It sounds like you had a pretty rough time of it and want to send out warning signals to everyone, "PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS." Basically, that will help prevent the spread of the disease, since it occurs from fecal contamination when people then touch their mouth or a part of the body that touches the mouth. One point that I'm not sure you mentioned. Once you are infected it takes 2 days for symptoms to appear. The virus lasts for about 7-8 days. With diarrhea and vomiting, it's important to stay hydrated. Glad you are well again. Debby

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Glassvisage....Thanks for reading and your comments. You're very fortunate to have a home garden. Enjoy!


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 3 years ago from Northern California

Thank you for sharing this. I have been thinking about the same thing as well. All the more reason to enjoy my home garden :)

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Since my encounter with the nasty norovirus, I'm fanatical about cleaning produce. Although I eat only organic vegetables and fruits (so I don't have to worry about pesticides), all produce can harbor pathogens. It's good practice to take the extra time and effort to clean it thoroughly.

I noticed a news headline yesterday that norovirus sickened hundreds of people at a national park. Yosemite?

Thanks for reading and your comments.


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B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers and on social networking sites.

I'm thankful for your tips. I've been wondering if there should be more to washing fresh produce than running them under cold water for a few seconds and maybe giving them a quick scrub with a vegetable brush.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks for the vote, feedback and share, Aunt Jimi. One thing I can promise is that anyone who experiences this dreadful virus will be willing to do almost anything not to get it again. It's better, of course, to avoid it in the first place. Thorough hand-washing and good cleaning practices can help you do that.


Aunt Jimi profile image

Aunt Jimi 3 years ago from The reddest of the Red states!

This norovirus sounds pretty awful. Someone I know got it while he was in the hospital for something else and he sure was sick. Good that you're alerting people to beware of this bug and washing hands is one of the easiest, cheapest, best ways to avoid it.

Voted up, useful, and awesome. Shared too.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Shyron, (and thanks to Au fait for the recommendation). I'm glad you found me and hope you enjoy reading the variety of things I've written and posted on HubPages. I appreciate the vote, feedback and sharing of this hub.



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Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Jaye, I love your hub, I am so glad that Au fait told me about you. I will be reading more of your hubs.

This one voted up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting. Will share.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, RTalloni--You're right...if you experience the norovirus, you definitely don't ever want to get it again! Frequent, thorough hand-washing and other cleanliness measures can protect you from its ravages.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

Lots of helpful info here, and the comments offer some good feedback. The more the consequences of not washing hand properly, etc, are highlighted the more people will pay attention to habits of cleanliness. It only takes one experience with this or one of the food poisonings to convince us, doesn't it?

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Kadje...I'm so glad you didn't get sick while on your cruise. You're right about the buffets being a repository for germs from ill crew and passengers. It's good you were being careful.


Kadje 3 years ago

Having Been on a cruise where there was. An outbreak, I would advise people to stay away from the buffet style options. All those passengers breathing on food just isn't hygienic. I didn't get sick, but accidentally followed most of this advice, including carrying hand sanitizer everywhere.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, Wabash Annie...Thanks for reading and your comments. I, too, now clean my steering wheel, telephone and other objects that both I and visitors touch, only I use peroxide or vinegar to kill bacteria. (Ammonia makes me sneeze and sneeze and get the I don't like the way it smells.)

Since there are several products that kill bacteria and viruses, whatever you prefer that works is good. The idea is to get rid of disease-harboring "bugs" before they infect someone.

I'm especially attentive to cleaning surfaces and hand-washing after going to the grocery store since my experience with norovirus. I also go all around my house cleaning with Lysol's peroxide wipes after my great-grandchildren visit, since they pass around colds and viruses among their family members frequently.


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wabash annie 3 years ago from Colorado Front Range

Jaye, just finished reading this hub and scanned the many comments. Your suggestions about how to avoid this illness are excellent. I wash my hands often and take care to wash produce but, one day, realized that the steering wheel of my car had to be a hotbed of germs. Now, I wash it often and use a solution of ammonia and water as I do on other surfaces. Bleach can cause other problems so hope the ammonia/water works. Thanks for keeping us posted and alert.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks for reading, Au fait...I understand the problems working people face when they don't have paid sick leave or what they have is limited. Even though I had plenty of paid sick leave before retirement from my "regular" career, I thought I "had" to be at work no matter how I felt (and my boss seemed to think so, too, since he asked me to work from home staying "connected" via computer and two phones after I had surgery!) This makes it difficult to avoid spreading communicable illnesses (both viral and bacterial) in the workplace.

When you don't have soap and water available, hand sanitizer is a good substitute in most instances. If you can find sanitizing wipes with alcohol, such as they use in hospitals, they may be more effective against hard-to-kill viruses.

I love the phrase you used about hospitals: germ malls. Believe me, I do my best to stay out of hospitals these days! They're only for last resort, in my opinion, and you need a family member or friend with you all the time to ensure hospital staffers (including doctors) thoroughly wash their hands before touching you.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

One of my coworkers, an elderly man, has something on this order. It's hard to get information about coworkers and we're just told he has a stomach flu. He had been out sick with pneumonia (hospitalized for several days) and returned to work after a couple of weeks only to have to have an ambulance transport him to hospital in the afternoon of his first day back to work. This is his second week out since that event. Expect he contracted the stomach issue in the hospital. They're germ malls.

Some people don't get sick pay and those of us who do; it's limited. So living paycheck to paycheck, we really can't afford to stay home if we can help it. I was recently sick with the flu and took off only a couple of days and worked the rest of it miserable with chills and more. I'm in constant contact with coworkers and children everyday. People send their children to school sick too.

We have hand sanitizer available most of the time at work since soap and water are not.

Excellent hub, and I appreciate the warning about the stomach virus. I hadn't heard about it before. Voting this hub up, useful, and will share it with my followers.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Billie...Thanks for reading this article and for your comments. I'm glad you "missed out on" norovirus from the little girl's cookies. You were fortunate indeed not to endure that particular gastrointestinal version of hell.

The failure of cooks--both in their own kitchens or those in restaurants of all types--to thoroughly wash their hands before preparing food is one of the major reasons for food-borne illnesses such as norovirus. I hope your good luck holds when you begin buying baked goods again!



Billie Kelpin profile image

Billie Kelpin 3 years ago from Newport Beach

just came across your hubs reading a piece by Dr. Mark, the vet. I was accompanying a college group on a field trip to an Amish community and was on a diet. I was the only one who didn't eat the cookies that students bought at one house. Everyone was sick the next day except me and the Dept. of Health investigated. They amazingly traced the virus back to a little girl who was baking the cookies with her mom. I thought it was absolutely amazing for them to have found this out. The washing of the hands, in this case, was essential. Of course, that will never stop me from buying baked goods ANYWHERE since I'm off my diet :) !!!

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Vinyaya, for reading and commenting about this article. You're right that hand-washing is key to prevention--if only people will remember to do it.


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Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

Most of stomach diseases can be avoided by simply washing our hands. Thanks for this useful and informative hubs.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Vespawoolf...Thanks for your comments. You're so right that building up your immune system can help you overcome illnesses--at least get well quicker, if you become sick. How you eat plays a big role, as well as avoiding unnecessary chemicals. I appreciate the vote and sharing. Take care....Jaye

Stephanie...Thanks for taking the time to read the article all the way through, even though it is long. Sometimes it's necessary to provide a lot of information and hope people are willing to wade through it! Stay well....Jaye

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StephanieBCrosby 3 years ago from New Jersey

Who cares if this is long: it's good, and that is what matters. The more information the better!

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vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

This sounds lke a terrible virus and I'm sorry you caught it. It's true, a grocery store has to be one of the dirtiest places around with all the human traffic they receive. How scary that the patient is contagious before symptoms first appear. All these points are very useful, and I agree with the sixth point of consuming natural products that can boost the immune system.

Since we live in Peru, the standards of hygiene are not always what we're accustomed to so we almost always opt to eat at home. I appreciate all the details about disinfecting the bedding, etc. of the infected person. Very useful! Thank you. Voted up and shared.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

LongTimeMother....Thanks for your additional tip for preventing nasty viruses from setting up shop in one's system. I'll add a notation to my article directing readers to your helpful comment.

Garlic and raw honey are, if not in my medicine chest, nearly always in my pantry. I routinely add garlic to raw salads, which I eat almost every day, and credit it with the fact that I haven't had a cold in years.

Also, I usually buy raw honey from a local beekeeper, who sells it at the local farmers market, as its delicious taste puts that commercial stuff sold in grocery stores to shame, and I consume it sparingly most days. I'm aware that honey is beneficial for health, but I also like the flavor, adding a few drops to lemon water and also to my oatmeal.

Unfortunately, I'd used up my supply of this superior honey about a month before I sickened with norovirus. In future, I'll be careful to keep it on hand and consume it throughout the year.


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

Hi Jaye,

I'd like to offer you a sixth tip. It might help you avoid catching any further nasties.

I strongly recommend including fresh garlic and raw honey in your daily diet. Both are anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. If you don't use them for prevention, at least have them on standby for immediate use as soon as you have symptoms.

Just squash one garlic clove flat with the side of a knife to crush it, then slice it up. Add a little honey to the garlic and spread it on your toast each morning. If you're in a hurry, you can scoop it all up in a spoon, chew and swallow it and wash it all down with some nice fresh water.

The other option, if you are already feeling sick and can't stomach the thought of swallowing anything, is to fumble for a garlic clove, weakly bash it with a rolling pin or crush it beneath a plate with the weight of your aching body, and don't even bother slicing it if you think you'll cut your hand. Drop the crushed garlic clove in a glass of water, and add a big spoonful of raw honey to the glass. Drag yourself back to bed clutching the glass with the spoon still sticking out of it. Then, when you have the energy, give it a stir and start sipping the water.

Garlic and honey should be in everyone's medicine chest.

Hope your recovery is speedy. :)

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, midget38, for reading and for your comments. Yes, norovirus is dibilitating and not something anyone who's had it will want to encounter again...right? Take care....Jaye

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midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Ouch! I got this just last year and yes, I was ill for a time. It's far more debilitating than the common flu...with this, you cannot move or go anywhere at all because the tummy truly hurts and you really want to throw up. Had to have an injection! Thanks for sharing this! UP ++

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks for your kind words, D.Juris Stetser....I did research for the article but that was after (and because) I suffered through my own bout with norovirus. My aim in writing this article is to (hopefully) prevent those who read it from catching the dreaded virus. Stay well!


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D.Juris Stetser 3 years ago from South Dakota

Jaye you've obviously done your homework here. Fantastic research, valuable information as well as so timely. and excellently organized and presented. voting Up, Awesome, Useful and Interesting....great work!

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

CarolinaMuscle....Thanks. I agree with you--the norovirus is "downright nasty", and I'm sorry you caught it. I'd be willing to bet that you will try (as I will) not to get it again. Stay well!


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carolina muscle 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

There are some very important ideas here-- I've had it, and it's downright nasty. The preventive steps you suggest are easy enough to take when compared to the dangers involved in catching it. Great post.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Peggy...Thanks for your comments and for sharing. Hand-washing is such an easy thing to do and yet so critical to the prevention of spreading illness. We all need to make thorough washing of hands a habit that doesn't even require conscious thought. (And, believe me--I'll never eat anything on the drive home from the grocery store again! That was a powerful and painful lesson learned!)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Since I started out working as an operating room nurse where sterile technique was needed and expected, I have always been a frequent hand washer. It is absolutely amazing to me when I am in a public restroom and see people exiting without washing their hands. Disgusting! It is no wonder that it is so easy to pick up these viruses. Thanks for writing this. Hopefully more people will think about WASHING THEIR HANDS which is the first and best defense in addition to other things mentioned in your hub. Up and useful votes. Will also share. Glad to know that you recovered from the Norovirus. Stay well and healthy!

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks so much, Dennis, for your great comments. I don't blame you for being germophobic. I thought I was a careful person until I got the norovirus, then realized I needed to be much more so from now on. Your suggestions for avoiding germs are excellent, and more people should use them.

By the way, I've noticed women leaving public restrooms without going near the hand-washing basin, so it isn't only men who can be deficient in practicing good hygiene. That's why I always use a paper towel to open the door and leave those places.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

Voted up and +++ Wow! Thank you for a personal hands on (no pun intended) and informative article. Truth be told, I'm a germophobic person. I pull my shirt/coat sleeves down when opening a door in a public place. I disinfect my grocery cart, including the handles, seat, the sides and any other surface I may touch. I wash my hands constantly and even carry disinfectant wipes in my car.

Germs are everywhere. When we swipe our ATM card at the store, someone else has touched that surface. When we pick up the gas nozzle at the gas station, other people have touched it also. The whole idea of being exposed just creeps me out.

I'm still shocked and amazed at the number of men (yes, we can be pigs) who frequent a public restroom to do their business, zip up their pants and merrily exit without ever going near the sink. Ewwww.

My wife's been teaching school for over 38 years and swears she has been exposed to every virus know to mankind. Luckily, she rarely becomes ill. However, she has hand sanitizers in her classroom and her students are instructed in the proper way to wash their hands. Second Graders have a tendency to find every orifice with their fingers, if you know what I mean.

Super great hub loaded with great information.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

LKMore...I'm so sorry to learn that you suffered from the norovirus. Dreadful malady, isn't it? I hope to never be so ill again! I also hope to help others keep from catching it with the information contained in this article.

Thank you for your valuable feedback.


LKMore01 profile image

LKMore01 3 years ago


This is one of the most detailed and informative articles I've read on the subject of Norovirus. Wish I had read this prior to being ill last month. You are outstanding.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, Nell Rose. Catching the norovirus certainly heightened my awareness of the need to wash my hands frequently, especially after being out in public. Even though I'm completely recovered from its effects, I'm still washing my hands repeatedly like Lady MacBeth and disinfecting my kitchen and bathroom surfaces as though the virus was still present. I don't suppose a little extra cleanliness will hurt me, though!

Thanks for reading and for your comment. JAYE

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

I am so sorry you caught this horrible virus, and yes I totally understand how you could open that packet and eat without washing your hands, its easily done. I remember when we worked in one of our offices I always carried a packet of disinfectant wipes to wipe the keyboard and headset, just in case! I try and wash my hands every time I go out and come back in, I also carry a bottle of handwash with me, when anybody gets this I wear a cloth over my face and keep washing my hands! great advice, and here's hoping you are better, nell

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Paula....I read your great hub about how to NOT catch the flu, so I know you're doing the right things. Hand-washing and using disinfectant are keys to getting rid of these viruses that make people so ill. Thanks for the vote and feedback. I join you in your toast to good health: "Here's to all of us staying healthy!"


nancynurse...Thanks so much for your kind words and feedback. With your nursing background, especially with babies, you doubtless know how dangerous norovirus can be for little ones because they dehydrate so quickly. Following stringent hygiene practices may keep families safe.


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nancynurse 3 years ago from Southeast USA

Great hub. You are a gifted writer and did a great job with your research and sharing your personal story. Thanks for sharing some important information!!!

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fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Jaye...Thank you so much for this vital "heads-up." I am very vigilant during flu season. Having experienced a particular strain, a time or two, I'm like a Guard Dog about germs and exposure.....staying home and just being proactive.

I heard just recently about this dreaded norovirus. You have filled me in so well, with what we all need to know.

Here's to all of us STAYING HEALTHY.....Thanks, again, Jaye...UP+++

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks for your feedback, Mary...I tried to shorten the article, but in the end decided that a great deal needed to be written to get across the message--even to sharing my (wretched) personal experience. We cannot take good health for granted, but must do whatever we can to protect it, especially in our world of runaway viruses. Good hygiene plays such an important role in that endeavor.

One thing I definitely learned from enduring norovirus is to never again touch food without first thoroughly washing my hands--one of those life lessons learned the hard way!

Stay well! Jaye

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tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Seems many have made it to the end of this hub. It is so well worth reading! I am sorry you caught this nasty thing but grateful you wrote this hub. The tips you provided are good for any virus or flu, not just the norovirus. Very helpful hub Jaye, thank you.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Justsilvie...Thanks for reading, your kind words, the vote, sharing and for your good wishes. It was SO good to feel good again once the norovirus took its leave of me! Take care and stay well....JAYE

Onegreenparachute...Thanks for reading the article, and for your feedback and sharing, as well. I am so with you in hating to throw up--even once, much less over and over for hours. I'd prefer days--even weeks--of pain instead. I hope these tips help you avoid the norovirus and stay well.


onegreenparachute profile image

onegreenparachute 3 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

Hello Jaye and thank you for writing this very informative hub! I must tell you that I am the biggest wuss when it comes to vomiting and I SO do not want to get this horrible virus. I'm sure your tips will help! Voted up, interesting and shared.

Justsilvie 3 years ago

Really Well done and very informative Hub!. Voted up and shared. Also glad you have recovered and feel well again.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

aviannovice...It is an awful illness (even gruesome to read about), so I hope you steer clear of it. Thanks for your good wishes. I'm fine now.


Bill...Yep! Typing with one's fingers crossed is a bit tricky...I do hope you and Bev get through the virus season without making the norovirus' acquaintance. You really don't want to meet that bad boy.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

All great suggestions, Jaye! So far our family has been lucky, but I'm crossing my fingers as I type that, which is not easy to do at all. :) Here's hoping we'll make it through this year without catching this nasty bad boy.

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aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Wow, what an awful illness. I couldn't imagine anything so devastating that could last so long. Glad that you have recovered.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Drbj....Thanks. Norovirus is definitely casting a pall on the cruise industry. It must be a nightmare to have a ship full of (paying) passengers fall ill when they expected to have fun.

Since my bout with the virus, I continue to frequently wash my hands with hot running water and soap. It's a good habit. Hand-washing is really the best defense when there's no vaccine or cure.

Thanks for wading through this long article and commenting. I may try to trim the text to make it more readable for those who don't like long articles.


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drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

So sorry you suffered through this severe bout of Norovirus, Jaye, but happy you have recovered. This virulent strain of virus is anathema to the cruise ship industry and since it first appeared several years ago, sanitizers have been installed on most ships in almost every crevice and corner imaginable. But washing one's hands with HOT soapy water is still one of the best ways to keep the virus at bay.

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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Ghalech....Thanks for sharing your experience, terrible as it was. I'm sorry you had such a dangerous bout of norovirus, but so thankful you recovered. Viruses and bacteria of all types are truly dangerous to the human race, and you're so right that cleanliness (particularly hand washing and disinfecting surfaces) is our main weapon against them.


mperrottet...That long contagion period (and I was told it can go even a bit beyond two weeks) is one of the reasons this awful virus is spreading and infecting so many people worldwide. People often think they're over it after the worst symptoms subside and stop taking precautions to keep from spreading it. Thanks for taking the time to read and commenting.


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mperrottet 3 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

Five great tips for avoiding this terrible virus. I had no idea that the contagion period is two weeks. I'll keep that in mind if anyone close to me comes down with it. Voted up, interesting and useful.

Ghaelach 3 years ago

Morning Jaye.

An excellent hub with a lot of very important information.

I got a Norovirus in late spring last year (2012), and I can only back up every word you have written.

Because of the problems I have I was rushed to the hospital with blue lights and all. I was kept in for five days, and I must say it made no difference that I was in the hospital, the vomiting and headaches are just as strong. Fortunately with medicines, I got over the virus pretty quickly.

Cleanliness is the priority in this case, and the first on the list is hand washing.

When you are outside of your house, everything you touch is a potential enemy to your health. Buses, Metro/underground, handrails, and as you say anywhere were there are the masses.

The #1 on my list for getting struck down by infections, viruses, disease, or whatever you want to call them, are the places that we go to for help, and they call them "HOSPITALS."

"BACTERIA" are the most powerful living organism on this planet, and as soon as a new anti-biotic is found, the bacterium goes ahead and make it's self stronger.

Wonderful hub, which I hope thousands read and take note of.

LOL Ghaelach

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