Published On: Fri, Dec 21st, 2012

Minnesota health officials warn public: ‘Tis the season of norovirus’

Norovirus  Image/CDC

Norovirus Image/CDC

The Minnesota Department of Health is warning the public that the state is in the middle of norovirus season , and they are advising to take steps to prevent this rather unpleasant gastrointestinal disease, according to a press release yesterday.

According to health officials, November through January is the peak time of year for norovirus infections in Minnesota. They say that it’s not an uncommon occurrence to see a spike of the “stomach bug” during the holiday season.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that can cause inflammation of the stomach and intestines, leading to vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping. Other symptoms can include low-grade fever or chills, headache, and muscle aches.

Symptoms of norovirus usually begin 1 or 2 days after ingesting the virus, but may appear as early as 12 hours after exposure. The illness typically comes on suddenly.

Health officials are recommending the following measures be taken to keep the extremely contagious norovirus from ruining your holiday season:

Handwashing, handwashing, handwashing.

  • Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds:
    • After using the bathroom.
    • After changing diapers.
    • Before preparing foods
    • Before eating
  • Wash your hands more often when someone in your household is sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces with a household bleach solution immediately after vomiting or diarrheal accidents.
  • Steam oysters before eating them.
  • Avoid preparing food for others while you have symptoms and for at least three days after you recover.

If you develop norovirus symptoms, drink plenty of fluids so you don’t become dehydrated, wash your hands often and don’t prepare food for others, and contact your health care provider.

To report a suspected foodborne illness, call the Minnesota Department of Health Foodborne Illness Hotline at             1-877 FOODILL       (OR            651-201-5655       from the Twin Cities).

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63


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