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Norovirus ‘like wildfire through community’

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Got norovirus? Don’t spread it around.

The highly contagious stomach ailment is keeping Carson-Tahoe Hospital busy, even though there’s not much doctors can do for it. So the best advice is to keep from infecting others.

“It’s going like wildfire through the community,” hospital spokeswoman Cheri Glockner said Monday.

She said the hospital is not assigning specific cases to norovirus, but it has been confirmed in Carson City. Its origin has not been determined.

“All the people who are coming into the ER with symptoms, we’re hoping they understand that if you have the symptoms there is a significant chance that it’s the norovirus and we don’t have a treatment for it,” she said.

Glockner said it’s an uncomfortable virus but it must run its course – which is usually one to three days. Those infected should stay at home to help contain it, unless the person feels dehydrated, has other aggravated medical symptoms and the virus has extended past the three-day period.

The Carson City Health Department confirmed norovirus within Carson Rehabilitation Center, an inpatient facility of Carson-Tahoe Hospital this past weekend.

Glockner said the center will probably not take new patients until Wednesday morning.

Dr. Monica Wichner, medical director at the Carson Rehabilitation Center, said the patients within the center are frustrated but improving.

“Things are going much better,” she said. “Patients are getting relief from symptoms. We just need to make sure they are symptom-free for 48 hours.”

She said it’s important to follow the precautions and stay home to manage the symptoms.

“Keep hydrated,” Wichner said.

Call the hospital hotline at 885-4904 with questions.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

Norovirus facts

• 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 handwashing. Use soap and warm water and dry with disposable towels.