Community News May 31, 2017
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Norovirus outbreak: Wash hands and stay healthy!
Recently there has been an increase in norovirus and other viral gastrointestinal outbreaks in the Bay Area and in San Jose. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has received reports of GI outbreaks in over a dozen schools in our county.
This particular illness is highly contagious, and symptoms do not start until 1 to 2 days after exposure. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, poor appetite, and headache. It is spread primarily through handling items or touching surfaces contaminated with the virus, eating or drinking contaminated food or water, and by being next to a vomiting individual.
Handwashing and keeping surfaces clean is crucial to preventing infection. District Health Services staff members are stressing the importance of frequent vigorous hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds, and especially after using the toilet. Younger students may need a lesson or demonstration. Please see the link for proper handwashing technique. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/videos.html. Unfortunately, hand sanitizers and alcohol rubs are not effective against norovirus.
Anyone ill with GI symptoms should remain home until at least 48 hours after they are well. Staying home for 48 hours and continued hand washing beyond that period is critical to prevent further spread.