Local Health Departments Reporting Norovirus Outbreaks

We've talked a lot about the flu, but state health officials are warning of another illness that makes you miserable: norovirus.

State health officials say several local health departments are reporting outbreaks of norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal illness that causes vomiting and diarrhea.

“The most important message we have right now is that people who are ill with vomiting or diarrhea should not work, go to school or attend daycare while they are having symptoms,“ said State Epidemiologist Dr. Megan Davies. “Everyone needs to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. This is the most effective way to protect yourself and others against norovirus since hand sanitizers alone are not as effective against this hardy virus.”

Davies offered several simple steps to take if you suspect the presence of a norovirus:
-Wash hands frequently with soap and water, especially after toilet visits and before preparing, serving or eating food or drink. Hand sanitizers are not as effective against norovirus.
-Clean and disinfect surfaces contaminated with vomit or diarrhea immediately using a bleach-based household cleaner, or dilute household bleach 1:10 in water (must be mixed fresh daily; never use undiluted bleach).
-Stay home when sick.
-Do not prepare food for other people when sick and for at least three days afterward.