Virus name: Norovirus or Norwalk-like virus
Signs & Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, low-grade fever & chills. Illness lasts for 12-60 hours. Causes severe dehydration that can be fatal, especially in young children and elderly persons
Spread: This infection occurs after eating contaminated water or food, especially shellfish, or touching contaminated surfaces or objects. Norovirus outbreaks are most common in nursing homes, schools and daycare centers, restaurants and cruise ships
Who is at risk: Any person who comes in contact with the virus. A very small number of the virus can cause serious infection. The virus is shed from an infection person for a long time after the symptoms disappear. Repeated infections can occur throughout a lifetime.
Prevention: Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water, especially before eating or preparing food; proper handling of linens and clothing soiled with feces or vomit; clean soiled surfaces with an appropriate disinfectant such as a 10% solution of bleach. Stay home until you are completely recovered from a bout with vomiting and/or diarrhea.