Communities should protect themselves against norovirus

Nearby communities to the north have been hit by the norovirus in the past few weeks. The week of Nov. 25, the Greater Albany Public School District shut down its campuses due to a norovirus outbreak, inducing students with symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. In the past two weeks, another student in the Sweet Home School District contracted the norovirus.

The norovirus is very common during the winter months and is easily spread person to person from everyday objects and airborne droplets of vomit while the virus is viral, usually two to four days. 

To avoid an outbreak, health professionals recommend the following advice:

• Always wash your hands with soap and water, as hand sanitizer will not kill the virus. This simple practice is extremely effective.

• Handle and prepare food safely, which also includes washing your hands before preparing food.

— Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.

— The norovirus is resistant to temperatures as high as 140˚F.

• Actively clean and disinfect surfaces.

— If an individual is sick, infected areas need to be cleaned right away to prevent others from catching the virus.

If you start to feel symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, please contact your primary care provider or nearest urgent care who can provide advice and allow you to treat your illness at home to control and not spread the virus.

Hydrate, eat what you can tolerate, immediately wash laundry and, most importantly, stay home.

If you do not feel better and feel increased thirst or dizziness, call a nearby urgent care to confirm if you need to be seen by a doctor. Symptoms usually last around five days.


More In Lane County