Health Advisory

Norovirus Update

To:     School Nurses, Long-term Care Facilities, Licensed Childcare Providers, and Correctional Facilities
From: Patsy Kelso, State Epidemiologist for Infectious Disease
Date: February 3, 2012

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In 2012 so far, the Vermont Department of Health has received seven reports of outbreaks of acute gastrointestinal illness in institutional settings. Outbreaks have been reported in several settings, including long-term care facilities, a correctional facility and a college. Three outbreaks have been confirmed to be caused by norovirus. In addition, the Health Department has seen an increase in visits to Vermont emergency rooms due to gastrointestinal illnesses.

Many of these acute gastrointestinal illnesses are likely due to noroviruses. Typical symptoms of norovirus infection are vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and low-grade fever. Symptoms typically begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure, and last 24 to 72 hours. Most people recover completely without treatment, but some require hospitalization for rehydration.

Noroviruses are highly contagious. They are usually spread from person to person, but can also spread through food, water, and even aerosolized vomitus.

Tips to prevent the spread of norovirus–

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