Flu and Norovirus On The Rise

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

January 19, 2007

The flu and many other not so friendly viruses are slowing making their debut right here in our area.

Albemarle County Public Schools head nurse, Eileen Gomez has seen small instances in most of our area schools

“Stomach viruses, we have seen a few of those. Not really to the level of an outbreak, but we have seen a few at each school,” said Gomez.

Not only is Norovirus, or the stomach flu, a problem at schools it's something everyone, not just children should be aware of.

“Norovirus tends to be most problematic in congregate settings and by that I mean nursing homes, assisted living areas even universities,” said Roy Crewz, with the Virginia Department of Health.

Common symptoms of the Norovirus are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping and mild fever.

Experts at the Virginia Department of Health have some tips to keep you and your family safe from contracting any of these viruses.

“In general prevention of any kind of communicable disease, like Norovirus or influenza, those really are rooted in things like good hand washing,” said Crewz.

Experts say to wash under warm water with antibacterial soap for at least twenty seconds.

Also, make sure to disinfect all surfaces, wash clothes and linens in a timely fashion and always avoid food and water that may have been exposed or contaminated by someone who may have the virus.

“Also, cough cold hygiene, covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze. Then keeping your hands away from eyes, nose, mouth,” said Gomez.

This week the state health department increased flu activity to regional status

The Center for Disease Control says there are currently five states with recorded widespread flu.

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