FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Public Health Phone: 707-263-1090
Lake County Public Health, the Red Cross, and Konocti Unified School District are working together to help control a norovirus outbreak at the Lower Lake High School evacuation shelter. Norovirus is a very common cause of “stomach flu”. It is highly contagious and can spread quickly in settings where people come in close contact with each other, such as an evacuation shelter.
Norovirus causes irritation of the stomach and intestines. Common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps. While most people with norovirus do not need medical care and get better within 1 to 3 days, the virus can make a person feel extremely ill with vomiting and diarrhea many times a day.
The best way to stop the spread of norovirus is to avoid coming into contact with bodily fluids of sick people. Proper hand washing and cleaning of surfaces that might be contaminated are essential. Infected people should avoid caring for or preparing food for other people until at least 48 hours after symptoms have ended. Surfaces and objects in contact with vomit or diarrhea should be washed with soap and hot water, and disinfected with a bleach solution or washed in a washing machine with detergent. Wear gloves and wash hands carefully after any contact with contaminated objects.
The actions taken at the Lower Lake Shelter to prevent the spread of norovirus:
• People with symptoms have been grouped together away from people without symptoms and have been provided with separate bathroom facilities.
• People recovering from illness are being kept separate from people without symptoms.
• People with symptoms are being fed separately from people with symptoms.
• Signs have been posted asking people to wash hands frequently, especially before eating and after using the bathroom.
• Outside company is being contracted for additional environmental cleaning and disinfection
• Additional handwashing stations have been set up next to the restrooms and food lines
For more information on norovirus, please visit the CDPH website or the CDC website.