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Norovirus quickly spreads through facility

May 22, 2009
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LONGVIEW, WA — The Evergreen Americana Health and Rehabilitation Center has postponed visitation until further notice due to an outbreak of norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus whose eradication requires extensive cleaning of services, according to the Longview Daily News.
The outbreak, which was first reported on May 13, has sickened 18 of Evergreen’s 58 residents and 26 of its 75 staff members, the story stated.
Dr. Jennifer Vines of the Cowlitz County Health Department said: "No one has had to be transferred to the hospital, and no one has died. The facility has been extremely cooperative and have taken standard control measures to contain it so we have as few ill as possible."
Efforts to curb the spread of the illness include quarantining sick residents, paying attention to food preparation, asking staff to wait at least 48 hours before returning to work after showing symptoms, proper cleaning, discarding soiled clothing and linens and diligent hand-washing, the story noted.
Typically, symptoms of norovirus, including fever, vomiting and diarrhea, last from 12 hours to five days, the story added.
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