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Preventing infectious gastroenteritis from norovirus

Infectious gastroenteritis from norovirus is breaking out.
One should wash hands and gargle to prevent infection.


Symptoms of norovirus infection

Incubation period: 1-2 days. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomachache, etc. Be careful of dehydration. Symptoms may be mild for healthy people, but severe for children and elderly.


Types of norovirus infection

(1) food poisoning: (example) poisoning from eating raw oysters

(2) contagious infection: (example) disposing diapers with diarrhea stool, not washing hands, etc.

(3) airborne infection: (example) virus in the air as a result of a patientfs vomit drying


Be mostly careful of oral transmission

1. Eating contaminated shellfish raw or not well done

2. Eating food prepared by someone infected (one who prepares the food should be careful not to serve contaminated food to others!)

3. From virus on onefs hands from a patientfs feces or vomit

4. From virus in the air from a patientfs vomit (airborne infection)

5. Drinking contaminated water from inadequate sterilization of well water, private water-supply system, etc.

When you are infected with the virus, the virus will be excreted in the feces for one week (may be for 2-3 weeks). Be sure to wash your hands and keep clean even after you become well.


Ways to prevent norovirus

(1) Heating: Norovirus will die if you heat it for over a minute (85Celsius or 185Fahrenheit). Be sure to cook oysters well when gfor heatingh is indicated.

(2) Wash your hands: Be sure to wash your hands after using the restroom, before cooking, etc.

(3) Dispose vomit tightly-sealed: When disposing vomit, wear mask and gloves, tightly seal the bag with the vomit, and double the bag.

(4) Use chlorine bleach: Sterilize sheets and clothing with feces or vomit with chlorine bleach (5% undiluted solution) diluted with 50 times more water. Wipe places where people may touch such as the restroom floor, toilet seats, door knobs, etc. with chlorine bleach diluted with 250 times more water. When using chlorine bleach, wear gloves and well ventilate. Be sure to check the precautions for use. Know alcohol is not effective.


See "how to wash hands", "disposal of vomit" (in Japanese with illustration)


Information about norovirus

E Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (in Japanese) http://www.mhlw.go.jp/topics/syokuchu/kanren/yobou/040204-1.html