Health department urges caution with gastroenteritis on the rise
GENESEE COUNTY — Genesee County has been experiencing an increase in gastroenteritis cases. The viruses that cause gastroenteritis, such as norovirus, can be easily spread by food, personto person contact, or contaminated surfaces or objects.
The Genesee County Health Department would like to make sure that everyone stays healthy this holiday season by giving the following information.
Norovirus causes an illness which typically includes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping. Symptoms may also include low-grade fever, headache, fatigue and muscle aches. Symptoms last about 1 to 2 days and, in most cases, ill persons get better on their own.
Sometimes people need to see a health care provider mainly due to dehydration, with the very young and elderly at highest risk. Those with severe diarrhea should drink lots of liquids.
Norovirus is very contagious and can be easily spread from person-to-person, especially in group settings. People can reduce their chance of getting infected by frequent hand washing using soap and warm running water for a minimum of 20 seconds (alcohol based hand sanitizers do NOT work against norovirus). Preventing contamination of food, drinks, and surfaces are critical to prevent the spread of norovirus. Anyone with norovirus must not prepare or serve food for others for 3 days after symptoms have stopped.
Spread of norovirus can also be reduced through prompt disinfection of contaminated surfaces with household chlorine bleach-based cleaners and prompt washing of soiled articles of clothing. Since the virus is passed in vomit and stool, children should not go to daycare or school while they have diarrhea or vomiting. Persons who work in nursing homes, take care of patients, or handle food should stay out of work until at least 2 to 3 days after symptoms end.
Norovirus is known incorrectly as the “stomach flu”. Norovirus is NOT related to the flu (influenza), which is a respiratory illness caused by a different virus. Further information about norovirus and environmental
cleaning can be found at www.gchd.us.
Holy Rosary Scrapbooking
GENESEE TWP. — Holy Rosary, 5191 Richfield Rd., will hold a scrapbooking event 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Jan. 29. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. for set-up
There will be snacks, soda, water and coffee throughout the day and lunch and dinner will be served. There will also be vendors, massages and raffles. Cost is $35 if registered by Jan. 21; $40 after. Space is limited. Call Kim Kallas at 810-744- 9228 or Jill Ayre at 810-736-4220. — G.G.