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Norovirus Cases in Dutchess County
Dutchess County Strongly Advises Handwashing

Published: January 5, 2018

Poughkeepsie …   The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health announced today that multiple cases of norovirus have been reported in Dutchess County.

"Norovirus is a very contagious virus that can easily infect anyone," said A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH, Commissioner.  "It is easily spread through contact with people, food, water, or surfaces."

Symptoms of norovirus include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting within 12-48 hours after being exposed to the virus.  Symptoms can be more severe for young children, older adults, and those with chronic health conditions.  Most people get better within 1-3 days.  

While there is no specific medicine to treat norovirus, the Department recommends drinking plenty of liquids to combat dehydration.  Common signs of dehydration include thirst, less-frequent urination, dry skin, fatigue, and dizziness.   Avoid beverages containing caffeine or alcohol as these items will increase dehydration.  If you become severely dehydrated, contact your doctor immediately.

The Department strongly recommends everyone to do the following actions to decrease their risk of getting norovirus.

  • Practice proper handwashing:  Wash your hands carefully and thoroughly especially after using the toilet or changing diapers.  Always wash your hands before eating or handling food.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables; Cook seafood thoroughly.  
  • If you are sick, do not prepare food or care for others who are sick.  Avoid contact with others at least 72 hours after symptoms have stopped, especially if you work in a school, daycare, healthcare, nursing home, or food service industry.  You can infect others from the moment you feel sick until three days after you recover. 
  • Clean and disinfect surface areas, especially high contact areas such as door knobs, keyboards, and phones as the virus can remain on surfaces for weeks.  Use a chlorine bleach solution, 5 tablespoons of household bleach per gallon of water or other disinfectant registered as effective against norovirus by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 
  • Wash laundry thoroughly.  Immediately remove and wash clothes or linens soiled with vomit or diarrhea.  Wear rubber gloves or disposable gloves while handling soiled items, washing hands immediately after.  Launder items with the longest cycle available and machine dry.

 If you have questions about norovirus, contact the Communicable Disease Control Division at (845) 486-3402.


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