Contagious stomach virus returns to Carson City
Appeal Staff Writer
ust in time for spring, norovirus is circulating in Carson City again. About 15 cases have been reported at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center in the latest outbreak of the highly contagious stomach ailment.
The number of infected hospital staff is unknown. Cheri Glockner, medical center spokeswoman, said the virus started outside the hospital and was brought into the rehabilitation center by a patient. The center is still open for patients because the outbreak seems to be contained.
Although not serious, norovirus causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever for one to three days.
Local doctors encourage those with symptoms to stay home and recover – don’t spread it around. Over-the-counter hand sanitizers don’t kill the virus, Glockner said.
Those with the virus should wait at least 48 hours after the symptoms stop before going back out into the community.
Dustin Boothe, Carson City health and human service disease investigator, said he has positive lab results for norovirus from March 2. The state is required to be informed about the virus because it spreads so easily, particularly through food.
“It really affects the young and old because after all the vomiting and diarrhea, it makes you dehydrated,” he said. “And that’s a medical concern for those two groups of people.”
Most norovirus cases were reported in the rehab center, the same place the virus spread rapidly in April and May. A hospital official said the rehab center is the one place where patients have more contact with one another for a longer period of time. Those still sick – only about three people – are quarantined.
“It’s raging through the community again, hot and heavy,” said Doris Dimmitt, hospital infection-control specialist. “We want to remind people to wash their hands. And they don’t have to come to the emergency room unless they are dehydrated.”
— Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.
• Norovirus, though usually not serious, is highly contagious.
• Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low-grade fever and headache. There is no treatment.
• The incubation period ranges from 12 to 72 hours, and the illness can last from 12 to 60 hours.
• The virus is transmitted through touch. It is very hearty and very contagious.
• The most effective way to prevent the spread of norovirus is frequent and vigorous hand washing. Use soap and warm water and dry with disposable towels.