Healthy Camping: Norovirus Prevention at Youth Camps Fact Sheet

Healthy Camping: Norovirus Prevention at Youth Camps

Prevent Norovirus: Camp Healthy

Basics About Norovirus

Norovirus is very contagious and causes vomiting and diarrhea. People of all ages can get infected and sick with norovirus. You can get norovirus from:

  • Having direct contact with an infected person, such as shaking hands
  • Sharing food or eating utensils with an infected person
  • Consuming contaminated food or water
  • Touching contaminated surfaces then putting your unwashed hands in your mouth

Guidance for preventing norovirus at youth camps

  • Establish a pre-camp arrival agreement requiring campers to be free of norovirus symptoms upon arrival; let parents know that they may need to pick up ill campers
  • Instruct campers and staff on how to properly wash their hands; make sure that handwashing facilities have soap, running water, and disposable towels
Prevent Norovirus: Wash Your Hands

Practice Food Safety

  • Make sure that campers, staff, and food workers are trained in food safety practices, such as using gloves and utensils when handling or preparing ready-to-eat foods, beverages, or ice
  • Do not allow ill campers, staff, or food workers in food service areas until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have resolved
  • Campers, staff, and food workers should not cook with or consume untreated water
Prevent Norovirus: Food Preparation. Wash Your Hands. Wear Disposable Gloves.

Clean Up Vomit and Diarrhea Immediately

  • After someone vomits or has diarrhea, always thoroughly clean then disinfect the entire area immediately
  • Put on rubber or disposable gloves, and wipe the entire area with paper towels, soap, and hot water
  • Then disinfect the area using a bleach-based household cleaner as directed on the product label
    • If no such disinfectant is available, you can use a solution made with 5 tablespoons to 1.5 cups of household bleach per 1 gallon of water
  • Leave the bleach disinfectant on the affected area for at least 5 minutes
  • Then clean the entire area again with soap and hot water
Prevent Norovirus: Immediate Clean-up

Isolate ill campers and staff

  • Isolate ill campers and staff from healthy campers and staff
  • Provide separate restrooms and eating areas until at least 48 hours after ill campers and staff symptoms have resolved
  • Campers and staff who are vomiting or have diarrhea should not swim or participate in recreational water activities until at least 1 week after these symptoms have resolved
Prevent Norovirus: Use Treated Water Only

What to tell staff, including food workers, about norovirus prevention

  • Practice food safety
  • Practice and instruct campers on proper handwashing
  • Make sure ill campers and staff are appropriately isolated, and ensure they use separate restrooms and eating areas until 48 hours after their symptoms resolve
  • Immediately clean then disinfect the entire area after someone vomits or has diarrhea
Norovirus Prevention: Healthy Habits

What to tell parents and kids about norovirus prevention

  • Ill campers may need to be picked up
  • Do not drop off ill campers or campers who have been ill in the last 48 hours
  • Make sure campers
    • wash their hands often with soap and water
    • do not share food and drinks with others
    • practice healthy hygiene
    • report any illness to camp staff
Infographic: Healthy Camping: Norovirus Prevention at Youth Camps

Check out this poster and learn how to prevent norovirus at youth camps.

NCIRDig804 | 10/22/18

CDC logo; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Page last reviewed: December 10, 2018