Lincoln County Public Health issued a news release Friday concerning a possible norovirus outbreak in Lincoln County schools.
Lincoln County Public Health Department has become aware that multiple Lincoln County School District students have been ill with vomiting and/or diarrhea. The Health Department is working with the school district to investigate the situation. From the information we have at this point, it appears that the illness might be caused by Norovirus.
Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. People of all ages can get infected and sick with norovirus. People with norovirus illness can shed billions of norovirus particles and only a few virus particles can make other people sick.
The most common symptoms of norovirus are:
- stomach pain
- body aches
Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines. This is called acute gastroenteritis.
A person usually develops symptoms 12-48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. Most people with norovirus illness get better within 1 to 3 days.
If you have norovirus illness, you can feel extremely ill, and vomit or have diarrhea many times a day. This can lead to dehydration, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses.
Symptoms of dehydration include:
- decrease in urination
- dry mouth and throat
- feeling dizzy when standing up
How serious is norovirus?
People with norovirus disease may feel very sick and vomit many times a day. Most do not feel sick enough to seek medical attention, and most get better within 1 or 2 days. Few people with norovirus disease are hospitalized; but the vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration requiring medical attention.
If you think you have this infection:
• Stay home to rest for at least 48 hours after the vomiting and diarrhea have stopped and you are feeling better.
• Sip fluids frequently as tolerated. Half-strength apple juice, sports fluids, flat lemon-lime soda, or popsicles can help to prevent dehydration.
• WASH HANDS FREQUENTLY: Rub all surfaces of hands with soap, rub lathered hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds, and then thoroughly rinse the hands under a stream of water.
• Wash hands after using the bathroom, cleaning, changing diapers, or before eating or preparing food. Avoid sharing towels, and if possible ask ill persons to use only one bathroom.
• Disinfect household surfaces with a bleach solution (1 cup of household bleach to a gallon of water).
• Call your health provider if symptoms last longer than three days; if you have bloody diarrhea or a fever greater than 100.5°F; or if you think you are becoming dehydrated.
If you have any questions, concerns or need assistance, please contact the Lincoln County Public Health Department Communicable Disease Public Health Nurses at 541-265-0587.