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Norovirus Outbreak Traced to Reusable Grocery Bag

Study Underscores How Easily Norovirus Can Spread

Disinfect Surfaces After Someone Gets Sick

In an editorial on the study, Hall says that it takes as little as 18 copies of a norovirus to make someone sick.

"It's among the most infectious viruses known to man," Hall tells WebMD.

"The amount of virus that it would take to get someone sick certainly cannot be seen with the naked eye, and definitely underscores the challenge of removing all potentially infectious virus from a grocery bag, in this case, or a bed rail in a hospital, or a doorknob in a nursing home," he says.

Researchers say the study highlights how easily the virus can travel and how long it can persist on the surfaces where it lands.

"This is a really underestimated route of transmission, and it's easy to fix," Repp says. "I don't know about you, but when I'm done with my clothes, I wash them when they're dirty. We should probably be washing our reusable bags, too."

According to the CDC, chlorine bleach is one of the few household cleaners that can kill norovirus. The agency recommends using 5 to 25 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water to clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces.

"When cleaning an area after someone is ill, we need to not just be thinking about wiping down the toilet area. We need to think about the virus up in the air and landing on everything in that bathroom, and either throwing away or cleaning everything that was exposed," Repp says.

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