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Precautions urged against Norovirus

An increasing number of Norovirus cases across the province has prompted Alberta Health Services to remind Albertans of important precautions to reduce the spread of illness.
Norovirus is a viral infection that occurs throughout the year, but is more common in winter.
“Anyone who is ill, or suspects they might be ill, should stay home from work, refrain from visiting loved ones in seniors’ residences and other facilities, and from preparing food for others,” south zone medical officer of health Dr. Vivien Suttorp said. “Children who are ill with symptoms of Norovirus should stay home from school or daycare until they are feeling better.”
Symptoms almost always include vomiting and/or diarrhea and may include muscle aches and low-grade fever.
Although symptoms usually last only 48 to 72 hours and in most cases require no special treatment, Dr. Suttorp said the virus can be debilitating for the very young, the very old, and those with weakened immune systems.
The virus can spread quickly through close contact with an infected individual or by eating food prepared by someone who is ill with the infection.
Dr. Suttorp recommended precautions to help people stay healthy and avoid illness.
Always wash your hands:

  • After using the bathroom.
  • After providing care to an ill person.
  • After handling soiled laundry.
  • Before handling food.

Anyone who is vomiting or has diarrhea should avoid the following activities until the symptoms are over:

  • Attending schools or child care facilities.
  • Attending work.
  • Visiting friends and relatives in seniors’ residences, continuing care facilities or hospitals.
  • Preparing food for others.