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Preventing Norovirus

Schools across the Wasatch Front, including in Canyons District, are deep-cleaning classrooms, restrooms, and cafeterias to combat norovirus infections. In Canyons, custodians are taking preventive measures to disinfect schools with hospital-grade disinfectants specifically listed to kill the contagious gastrointestinal illness. Canyons District has about 5.8 million square feet of space to keep cleaned, which is accomplished each day with special attention paid to touchpoints, or highly-trafficked areas with which students come into direct contact, such as door knobs, computer keyboards, and drinking fountains. “There’s a lot more to this than vacuuming and emptying trash cans,” Todd Muir, a custodial trainer for Canyons, explained to audiences of Good4Utah and KUTV2News on Sept. 10, 2018. Parents can help by reminding children of the importance of good personal hygiene. The best way to stop the spread of norovirus, which causes diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain and vomiting, is to thoroughly wash hands after using the restroom and before preparing meals or eating meals. Students or employees who are symptomatic should stay home for at least two days after symptoms stop, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Following is some helpful information courtesy of the Utah Department of Health. 

How do I know if I have norovirus?
Common symptoms include:


  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
How does norovirus spread?
Norovirus is spread by infected people or contaminated food and water. The virus is found in stool and vomit. You may get norovirus if you: 


  • eat food or drink liquids that have been contaminated with norovirus;
  • touch surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus, and then place your hands in your mouth;
  • have direct contact with another person who has the virus and has diarrhea or is vomiting (for example, when caring for someone or sharing foods or utensils). 
How soon after exposure do symptoms usually appear? 
Most people will begin to have symptoms within one to two days, but some people may become ill as early as 10 hours or as late as three days. 

How long do symptoms last? 
Persons with norovirus usually recover within two to three days without serious or long-term health effects. Even though the virus is easy to spread, serious illness rarely occurs. 

What is the treatment? 
No specific treatment is available. People should drink plenty of clear fluids. Rarely, people may become sick enough to go to the hospital. There is no vaccine available and antibiotics should not be used.