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Health Alert: Norovirus

Please be advised that Western Connecticut State University located near Danbury Connecticut recently experienced a Norovirus outbreak.

According to The Dutchess County Health Department there have not been any reports of a Norovirus outbreak in our county.

Norovirus is a germ that spreads quickly and easily within a residential community. It causes vomiting and diarrhea that come on suddenly. Many people get ill with this virus each year.  Norovirus is contagious from symptom onset and up to 72 hours after symptoms have resolved and it is important to pay particular attention to good hygiene practices to prevent spreading.

Norovirus Symptoms

Common symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps

Less common symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches

Norovirus spreads quickly. It is found in the vomit and stools of infected people. You can get it by:

  • Having direct physical contact with a person who is infected with norovirus, for example, caring for or shaking hands with an ill person and then touching your hands to your mouth
  • Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus
  • Touching surfaces or objects with norovirus on them and then putting your hands in your mouth
  • People with norovirus illness are most contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill and for the first few days after they recover. Some people may be contagious for even longer. 

For more information go the CDC link:https://www.cdc.gov/features/norovirus/index.htmlVisit the health service website or contact our health service to speak to a health care professional at 845-437-5800.

Protect Yourself and Others from Norovirus

  • Practice proper hand hygiene
    Wash your hands carefully with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers, and always before eating or preparing food. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. These alcohol-based products can help reduce the number of germs on your hands, but they are not a substitute for washing with soap and water.
  • Handle and prepare food safely
    Carefully rinse fruits and vegetables, and cook oysters and other shellfish thoroughly before eating.
    People with norovirus illness should not prepare food for others while they have symptoms and for at least 2 days after they recover from their illness. Also see For Food Workers: Norovirus and Working with Food.
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces
    After someone vomits or has diarrhea, put on disposable gloves to immediately clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces using a bleach-based household cleaner as directed on the product label. If no such cleaning product is available, you can use a solution made with 5 tablespoons to 1.5 cups of household bleach per 1 gallon of water. Always clean up the entire area immediately after someone with norovirus vomits or has diarrhea.   It will help keep others from getting sick from norovirus.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly
    Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with vomit or poop. Handle soiled items carefully—try not to shake them —to avoid spreading virus. If available, wear disposable gloves while handling soiled clothing or linens and wash your hands after handling. Wash soiled items with detergent at the maximum available cycle length and then machine dry.