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Published On: Thu, Feb 20th, 2014

Possible norovirus closes the doors of the Ames Public Library

A gastrointestinal illness, with symptoms resembling norovirus, has hit more than two dozen 25 employees with the Ames Public Library in Ames, Iowa, prompting the city to close the doors of the library until Friday due to inadequate staffing and inclimate weather, according to a city news update Wednesday.

Norovirus  Image/CDC

Norovirus Image/CDC

The release states the Library is working closely with the Story County Public Health and Iowa Department of Public Health who indicate that norovirus is the likely cause of illness, although confirmatory testing is currently underway.

“Norovirus is the most common cause of gastrointestinal illness nationally and in Iowa,” said Terri Olinger with Story County Public Health. “Norovirus activity is traditionally higher in the colder months because peoples are indoors more and in closer contact.”

Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.

The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.

Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food andwater, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.

Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

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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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