Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Have you ever heard of norovirus? You've probably gotten sick from it before. Some people call norovirus "the stomach bug". The virus infects your stomach or intestines. It causes stomach cramps, diarrhea, or vomiting. Millions of people get sick with norovirus every year, and thousands end up in the hospital. Norovirus can make you very sick for a few days. You can spread norovirus to other people while you're sick, and even after symptoms go away. Norovirus spreads really fast. You can get infected with norovirus if you get poop or vomit on your hands, then put your fingers in your mouth. This can happen if you shake hands with a person with norovirus, take care of them while they're sick, or handle their soiled laundry. Norovirus can also stay on surfaces and objects. So, if you touch something that has norovirus on it, you can get sick. Other ways you can get norovirus are eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. You can help protect yourself from norovirus. Wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds every time, and avoid touching your mouth. It is especially important to wash your hands before handling food or after using the bathroom or changing your baby's diaper. Disinfect surfaces and objects in your home. You can get rid of norovirus on surfaces by wiping them down with a bleach-based cleaner. Wash clothes and linens that might have poop or vomit on them, and then machine dry. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables before you serve them, and cook shellfish, such as oysters, thoroughly. If you're sick with norovirus, stay home and drink plenty of liquids so you don't get dehydrated. Remember, you can spread norovirus even after your symptoms go away, so, avoid taking care of others or preparing food for them until at least two days after you start feeling better. Staying healthy helps others in your family stay healthy, too. That's especially important for young children and elderly people. Norovirus is the number one reason young children visit the doctor for diarrhea. Children in daycare or schools are especially at risk for getting sick. Elderly people also have a higher chance of getting norovirus and suffering from complications, particularly those in long-term care facilities like nursing homes. You can help. Put prevention first, and squash the stomach bug.