Take Simple Steps To Stop Spread Of Norovirus

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Norovirus

The winter season is typically the time of year when there's an increase in the incidence of noroviruses, so the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is offering tips to help guard against the spread of this illness.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause gastrointestinal illness or what many people refer to as "the stomach flu." Noroviruses are highly contagious and can be responsible for large outbreaks in communal settings such as long-term care facilities, schools, and in daycares.

"New Hampshire residents can play an important role in helping to stop the spread of norovirus and other illnesses," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Jose Montero, "but it requires that all of us be vigilant in our personal hygiene habits."

Noroviruses can be transmitted a number of ways, including through person-to-person contact, consumption of contaminated food and water, airborne droplets of vomit, and contact with contaminated surfaces, such as doorknobs and faucets. Symptoms of the illness include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, and headache.

There is no treatment for Norovirus, but symptoms typically resolve within 48 hours. DHHS's Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) recommends following these common sense steps to aid in prevention:

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* Wash hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom and changing diapers

* Wash hands with soap and warm water before preparing or eating food

* Cook shellfish thoroughly before eating

* Wash raw vegetables before eating

* Food service workers with symptoms of norovirus should not prepare or touch food

* Health care workers with norovirus symptoms should stay home from work

"Following these simple measures will help more New Hampshire residents stay healthy during this winter season,"

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