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Keep norovirus at bay with common sense steps

1/26/2017, 6 a.m.
Will County Health Department Epidemiology & Infectious Disease Coordinator Dr. Alpesh Patel says it is the common season for illnesses ...

Will County Health Department Epidemiology & Infectious Disease Coordinator Dr. Alpesh Patel says it is the common season for illnesses like Norovirus, which recently was reported in some Kane County Schools, with St. Charles East High School having to cancel classes for a couple of days.

Dr. Patel says this illness is spread by “contact with the infected individual or infected surfaces.” He says the virus can survive on surfaces for many hours. Norovirus usually begins with profuse vomiting and diarrhea.

Dr. Patel says the best weapon against illnesses like Norovirus is to clean commonly used surfaces with disinfectant, and of course, frequent hand washing. He says those with Norovirus should stay home to avoid infecting others, and should be especially careful handling food in their homes. Through food is a common way that family members become ill. Once again, frequent hand washing is the best bet to prevent that. The Illinois Department of Public Health has stated that if one is sick, they should not prepare food for others nor care for others until at least two days after symptoms have stopped.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has also reported that since December 15th there have been 24 suspect Norovirus outbreaks reported across the state, with the majority being in either long term care or assisted living facilities.