Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - It appears there is a norovirus outbreak in Olmsted County.  

Health officials are monitoring an increase of students and staff at area elementary schools who have been staying home due to symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea the last few weeks.

These symptoms appear to be the result of norovirus, which can lead to what is commonly called stomach flu. Symptoms of this virus generally include nausea, severe vomiting and/or diarrhea which can last one to two days.The virus spreads when infected people, who may not even know they are infected, do not wash their hands after using the bathroom. The virus can then be transferred easily to food or surfaces where other people can pick it up. Symptoms occur 24-48 hours after contracting the virus, making it a very contagious virus that can infect anyone.

Public Health Officials recommend the following practices to protect yourself and others from norovirus and other contagious diseases:

  • Wash your hands. Handwashing is the number one way to protect yourself and others.
  • Avoid food handling duties if currently or recently ill.
  • Throw away foods that have been handled or prepared by someone who is or has recently had vomiting or diarrhea unless it will be thoroughly cooked before serving.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of vomiting or diarrhea by using a bleach-based household cleaner.
  • Keep ill children and staff away from school and other activities for one full day after symptoms resolve

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