WARNING: Norovirus spreading in Northern Kentucky - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

WARNING: Norovirus spreading in N. KY

NORTHERN KENTUCKY (FOX19) -

Has it hit your household or your child's school yet?

An infectious disease causing vomiting and diarrhea has been making its presence known in Northern Kentucky in recent weeks.

These symptoms are typical of Norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal illness.

"We've heard from school nurses, physicians' offices, child care centers and nursing homes about numerous cases of vomiting and diarrhea this winter," said Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH, District Director of Health. "Although Norovirus is not a disease that's required to be reported to the Health Department, we've got enough evidence to suggest that it's circulating in the community and that this is the time to step up our efforts to prevent further spread."

Tips:

  1. If you are sick, stay home from school or work.
  2. Wash your hands often, including after using the restroom, before preparing food items, after handling objects, after changing diapers and after touching surfaces in a room where someone has been ill.
  3. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.
  4. Cook oysters thoroughly.
  5. If you are ill, do not prepare food for others while you are ill and for three days after you feel better.
  6. If someone has been ill, wash any soiled clothing or linens immediately.

Symptoms of Norovirus include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever.

People commonly refer to it as stomach flu or food poisoning.

It can be transmitted by touching a contaminated surface or directly from person-to-person, with symptoms typically beginning 24 to 48 hours after exposure.

"It's not uncommon for Norovirus to go from one person to another within a family or a classroom," said Saddler. "People with it are contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill to at least three days, and perhaps as long as two weeks, after recovering. It spreads rapidly in homes, schools, child cares and nursing homes, making it difficult to control."

There is no treatment for Norovirus, but those who are ill should be sure to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

The Health Department is working with schools, child cares and long-term care facilities to help contain Norovirus within those populations.

To view a fact sheet on Norovirus, please visit http://www.nkyhealth.org/norovirusfs

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