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2012 News Releases

Department of Behavioral & Community Health

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February 10, 2012        Print version


Increase in Gastrointestinal Illness in Dutchess County

The Dutchess County Department of Health has noted a significant increase in gastrointestinal illnesses within Dutchess County.  Symptoms include: vomiting and/or diarrhea (episodes of three or more within a 24 hour period), nausea, malaise or stomach cramps.  This outbreak appears to be due to a “Norovirus-like” virus.  Norovirus is typically very contagious and persons can become infected by having direct contact with an ill person, eating or drinking contaminated food or liquids, and/or by touching contaminated surfaces and then placing their hand in their mouth.

The DCDOH is recommending the following to help prevent the spread of infection:
  •    Wash hands thoroughly and frequently especially after going to the bathroom and before handling food
  •    Use of gloves should be used when cleaning diarrhea and/or vomit (use of masks is recommended when cleaning vomit)
  •    People who experience symptoms should not attend work or handle food
  •    Do not share personal items
  •    Avoid drinking untreated water
  •    Cook shellfish thoroughly before eating

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using paper towels, not a mop, when cleaning vomit. The surrounding area should be disinfected with a bleach solution of 1/4 cup of household bleach in a gallon of water.

For more information on Norovirus and how to reduce your risk, please visit:  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/norovirus.htm

 

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A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH,Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health
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