Mayo Clinic shares 6 tips for avoiding norovirus

While one can contract norovirus any time of the year, the infection is more common in the winter. According to the CDC, norovirus contributes to approximately 570 to 800 deaths and between 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations annually.

Symptoms of norovirus typically manifest 12 to 48 hours after viral exposure and can include fever, headache, body ache, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

"Because there is no medication or treatment for norovirus, prevention of the illness is your best bet," said Jessica Schoen, MD, an emergency medicine physician with Mayo Clinic Health System's locations in Albert Lea and Austin, Minn.

Here are six tips to avoid norovirus as the winter months roll on.

1. Remain home if sick.

2. Adhere to appropriate hand hygiene practices and increase hand washing frequency if living with someone who has the virus.

3. Carry hand sanitizer.

4. Do not cook or handle food if experiencing any symptoms of norovirus.

5. Disinfect contaminated surfaces after incidents of diarrhea or vomiting using a bleach solution.

6. Skip unnecessary potluck gatherings. Avoiding homemade food items is a good way to prevent exposure from contaminated food.

More articles on infection control: 
Catheter safety programs reduce infection rates and cut costs, study finds 
Researchers identify ideal conditions for Legionella growth 
Top 10 infection control stories, Jan. 2-6

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