Local Health District Reports Jump In Norovirus Cases

BELL COUNTY (February 25, 2014) The Bell County Health District issued a health alert Tuesday in response to a jump in norovirus cases.

We have seen a marked increase in ER visit for vomiting (and) diarrhea... and an increase in lab positive cases in the last 4 weeks,” Disease Surveillance Coordinator Lacey Sanders said in a press release Tuesday.

“We have had three long-term care facilities in the last 10 days that reported norovirus outbreaks as well,” she said.

Norovirus is highly contagious and causes gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

Symptoms include nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, fever and muscle aches.

The symptoms typically develop within hours or a few days after infection and it usually takes several days to recover.

Norovirus is transmitted through contaminated food and liquids, contact with contaminated surfaces or someone who’s infected, eating improperly prepared raw fruits and vegetables and drinking contaminated water.

Frequent hand-washing is the best defense, particularly for food handlers and caregivers.