A number of reports of Norovirus in daycares, long-term car homes and schools in the community have been reported to Sudbury and District Health Unit, according to a news release.
Often referred to as the stomach flu, Norovirus, also known as Norwalk, really has little in common with influenza, said the health unit. There’s no vaccine for Norovirus. Furthermore, influenza targets the respiratory system, whereas Norovirus affects the gastrointestinal system.
Norovirus refers to a family of viruses that leave children and adults with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Headache and low-grade fever can also occur. Norovirus is highly contagious.
The virus spreads primarily through the fecal-oral route. This means that contaminated feces from an infected person is somehow ingested by another person.
“Anyone who has symptoms should stay away from vulnerable people and places such as hospitals, long-term care homes, and daycares to avoid spreading the virus,” said Cindy Rocca, an environmental support officer in the Health Unit’s Environmental Health Division. “Hospital patients and long-term care home residents are particularly at risk.”
Although there is no specific treatment for Norovirus, people who are ill should drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated. The illness usually clears up within 48 hours, but people could spread the virus for several days after their symptoms stop.
Follow these precautions to help prevent becoming sick with or spreading Norovirus:
-Wash your hands thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom, before eating or preparing food, as well as prior to entering and leaving a long-term care home, hospital, or daycare.
-Do not handle or prepare food for anyone if you are ill.
-Do not visit anyone in a hospital or long-term care home if you are ill.
-Stay home if you are ill and for two days after your symptoms stop.
-Carefully clean up vomit and feces, discard anything that was contaminated with vomit or feces, and disinfect all surfaces.
-Clean and sanitize washrooms and all common hand contact surfaces if there is someone ill in your home.