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How can you avoid catching stomach viruses?

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Quick Answer

Ways to prevent a stomach virus include washing hands frequently, staying away from infected people, disinfecting contaminated surfaces and using separate personal items, according to Mayo Clinic. Travelers to international locations can prevent stomach issues by only drinking bottled water, avoiding ice cubes and staying away from raw or undercooked foods.

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Full Answer

Many stomach viruses, such as norovirus, spread quickly and easily through direct contact with an infected person or contact with a contaminated surface, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A person with norovirus is contagious from the time she gets sick until after she recovers. Taking precautions around someone who is currently sick or was recently sick reduces the chances of catching the virus.

Staying away from someone who is sick reduces the risk of contact with the virus. Mayo Clinic recommends keeping some distance from a person with the virus when possible. Using separate towels, utensils and plates helps limit contact with the virus. Because avoiding all contact with viruses is nearly impossible, washing hands helps remove the virus before becoming infected. An effective way to wash hands is to rub soap onto the hands for at least 20 seconds while using warm water.

Cleaning in the kitchen, both surfaces and food, reduces the spread of stomach viruses, states the CDC. Anyone recovering from a stomach virus should wait two days or longer after recovering before preparing food for others. Cleaning contaminated surfaces in the kitchen and other areas of the home with a beach-based cleaner helps disinfect to reduce the spread of the virus.

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