Public Health: Norovirus circulating in Washtenaw County
With at least one outbreak of the norovirus confirmed and many more suspected, Washtenaw County Public Health officials are reminding residents of the symptoms of the gastrointestinal illness and how to stop it from spreading.
Several outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness have been reported to the health department in the past month.
Noroviruses are highly contagious viruses that cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping. Some people also experience headache, low grade fever, and body aches. Symptoms usually last for 24 to 48 hours, according to officials.
Epidemiologist Laura Bauman said the county has heard from a couple of nursing homes and a private party of 25 people that experienced viruslike symptoms recently. Additionally, she's heard anecdotally that a number of day cares have children home sick with similar symptoms.
This is the typical time of year for outbreaks of the virus, she said.
Norovirus is transmitted by eating contaminated food (food that was prepared or handled by another ill person), by touching surfaces or objects (such as doorknobs, faucets, handles, etc.) contaminated with norovirus and then touching the mouth, and by having direct contact with a person who is infected and showing symptoms, according to Public Health.
To prevent the spread, wash your hands frequently, stay home if you are ill, disinfect objects with bleach-based cleaning solutions and do not prepare food for others if you are ill.
More information is available here:
- Norovirus fact sheet: norovirus.pdf
- Norovirus cleaning guidelines Guidelines_for_Environmental_Cleaning_125846_7.pdf
- Norovirus control methods noro_control.pdf