IDPH gives tips on how to avoid the "stomach flu"

By WEEK Reporter

IDPH gives tips on how to avoid the "stomach flu"

February 27, 2013 Updated Feb 27, 2013 at 1:14 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The IDPH released some tips on Wednesday on how to avoid getting sick with norovirus or the "stomach flu".

The IDPH says that norovirus can spread quickly from person to person in crowded places like schools, long-term care facilities and daycare centers. A person who is ill and prepares or serves catered meals or food in a restaurant can contaminate food, causing others to become ill.

Norovirus is symptoms are unpleasant, but are usually not a major issue. However, it can be serious in young children, the elderly and people with other health conditions.

According to the CDC, norovirus causes more than 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths in the U.S. each year.

Tips for avoiding norovirus:

•Frequently wash your hands, especially after toileting and before eating or preparing food.
•Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately using a bleach-based cleaner. Or use one part bleach to nine parts water (1:10 dilution).
•Increase the frequency of cleaning high touch surfaces such as door knobs.
•Do not work as a food handler while you are ill with diarrhea or vomiting.

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