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MDH Releases Norovirus Toolkit

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has released the 2019 -2020 Norovirus Toolkit for Long-Term Care Settings.  

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that can cause gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks in Minnesota. In care centers, the most common cause of acute GI illness outbreaks is norovirus, which are often referred to by the misnomer “stomach flu.”

Norovirus Outbreaks by Setting, Minnesota 2009 - 2017

The Norovirus Toolkit is designed to be used during an outbreak and includes best strategies for  outbreak control as well as measures that can help you determine its cause. The toolkit includes general information on Norovirus, such as incubation period, infectious dose, transmission, prevention, disinfection and suspected outbreak reporting requirements.

FAQs: Environmental Controls - Norovirus Outbreak

Q: Can we use our regular cleaner(s)?

A: Probably not. You must use a sanitizer/disinfectant that specifically says that it is effective against norovirus on the label. Consider choosing a product that is also effective against C. difficile; use List K: EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products Effective against Clostridium difficile Spores (The bleach solution described in the CHECKLIST is effective against both norovirus and C. difficile.

Q: Are hand sanitizers effective?

A: Most are not effective against norovirus. Check with your chemical supplier or read the label carefully to make sure it lists effectivity against norovirus.

More information on Norovirus and other diseases can be found on the MDH website.

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