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Published On: Sat, Mar 15th, 2014

Norovirus may have been a factor in four deaths at Minneapolis Veterans Home

An outbreak of the gastrointestinal viral disease, norovirus, may have been a contributing factor to the deaths of four residents of the state veterans home in Minneapolis last weekend, according to a Minneapolis Star Tribune report Thursday.

Norovirus Image/CDC

Norovirus
Image/CDC

So far the virus has not been positively linked to the deaths at Minneapolis Veterans Home since March 7, department spokeswoman Anna Lewicki Long said. They all had other complications, she said.

The home has put a hold on new admissions, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs said in a statement Thursday. In addition, more than a dozen employees reportedly called in sick.

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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