Cleaning Services – Preventing Norovirus Outbreaks

Cleaning Services – Preventing Norovirus Outbreaks

Professional cleaning services prevent Norovirus outbreaks in homes and businesses and can save hundreds of lives a year in the US.

Cleaning Services - Preventing Norovirus Outbreaks - Bakersfield CA

Cleaning Services and Norovirus Prevention

According to the US Center for Disease Control, the Norovirus is the number one cause of diarrhea and vomiting spread through direct contact with an infected person or contaminated surface.



It is also responsible for the deaths of hundreds of individuals a year in the US, most of them children.

With pandemic strains being reported as recently as 2007, proper education, hygiene, and cleaning standards are the best weapons we possess to combat this disease.


CDC - Quick Stats - US Outbreaks of Diarrhea and Vomiting, 2009-2013

Image courtesy of the US Center for Disease Control


How Norovirus Spreads

Humans acquire Norovirus through ingestion.

The virus can spread via infected food, with the highest percentage of cases found in raw or undercooked foods, such as shellfish.

The virus is also spread through touch; either touching someone who is infected or an infected surface and then transferring the virus to ourselves; most commonly by rubbing our eyes, or eating without washing our hands.


Where is Norovirus Found?

Outside of the contaminated surfaces found in hospitals and healthcare facilities, Norovirus contamination is commonly found in:

  • Restaurants.
  • Schools.
  • Cruise Ships.
  • Prisons.
  • Military bases and other encampments.

There are several underlying traits common to each of these locations.

Each one:

  • Has a large number of people trafficking within a confined space.
  • Prepares and serves food on a large scale where people eat in relative, proximity to one another, and, with the rare exception of a fine dining establishment;
  • May not present the best possible solution or circumstances for proper personal hygiene.


Who is Most Susceptible?

The two most common symptoms of Norovirus are diarrhea and vomiting.

This inevitably leads to issues with dehydration and vitamin retention, potentially leading to rapid malnutrition symptoms.

Rapid dehydration and vitamin/nutrient loss can be especially harmful to the very young and the very old, or already ill.

This raises serious concerns for schools, which have seen a rash of closures over the last few years due to Noro and Norwalk virus outbreaks.

Additionally, soldiers deployed on patrol in the desert are particularly vulnerable to dehydration, often in less than ideal, or perhaps combat situations.


How to Combat the Norovirus

As it turns out, the Norovirus is pretty tough.

There is no cure or vaccination, and the virus can withstand temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are, however, several practical and cost-effective practices that can be adopted:

  • As always, encourage the routine washing of hands, especially after coming into contact with an infected person or after cleaning a contaminated surface.
  • Clean all contaminated surfaces with 5.25% bleach /gallon of water solution or, better yet, disinfect all surfaces with a CDC and EPA approved green cleaning product.
  • Wear rubber gloves and other protective equipment when cleaning contaminated areas.
  • Either dispose of contaminated clothing, especially clothing covered in vomit or diarrhea or wash them in hot water, preferably with bleach.
  • Avoid contact with others, and do not treat a possibly infected person, if you believe you may be affected.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetable thoroughly.
  • Cook all food to a temperature of, at least, 140 degrees.





The real conveyance of the norovirus comes from contaminated food that is not adequately prepared.

While personal hygiene plays an integral part in preventing the spread of Norovirus, adequately preparing and thoroughly cooking food, especially for young children, is paramount.

Steamed vegetables and shellfish are great, but if they were contaminated and not thoroughly cleaned, they could make a person extremely ill, and possibly kill them.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of professional cleaning services for your business, contact us today for a free quote!

In Bakersfield CA, call 661-395-3009

In Fresno CA, call 559-473-1790

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Southern Valley

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Southern Valley