The Flathead City-County Health Department is warning residents of a recent spate of Norovirus-related gastrointestinal illnesses.
Assisted and long-term care facilities have seen an increase in the illnesses associated with the virus, the health department reported.
Norovirus is a group of viruses that cause the majority of gastrointestinal-illness outbreaks in the U.S. Its symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Norovirus is easily spread through contaminated food or water, or direct contact between people or contaminated surfaces.
Only a few particles of the virus are required for infection, and anyone who has been sick with Norovirus illnesses should take the following suggestions to heart.
In order to prevent a very contagious virus from spreading further, the Health Department recommends:
Wash hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water, and especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, caring for someone who is ill, before eating, and before preparing food.
Stay home when ill with symptoms and at least 2 to 3 days after symptoms go away..
Wait 48-72 hours (2 to 3 days) after symptoms end before visiting a relative or friend who is in the hospital, nursing care facility or assisted living, or must stay at home due to a medical condition.
Wait 48-72 hours (2 to 3 days) after symptoms end before preparing or sharing food outside the household, such as a group gathering, potluck, or bake sale.
Wait 48-72 hours (2-3 days) after symptoms end before returning to normal work duties especially for food handlers, health care workers, or day care workers. Notify supervisors or employee health at workplace of illness.
Clean surfaces prone to being touched with an appropriate cleaner with bleach or bleach solution. (see FCCHD website for more information regarding cleaning and sanitizing)
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