Earlier today, School Nurse Beth Escobar sent a School-wide email warning about an uptick in norovirus reports in Greater Boston.
“Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea.” Escobar wrote. “It causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and this is called acute gastroenteritis. Anyone can get infected and sick with norovirus. You can get norovirus from having direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or water, or touching contaminated surfaces then putting your unwashed hands in your mouth. Outbreaks happen throughout the year, but they occur most often from November to April.”
The most common symptoms of norovirus are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Other symptoms may include fever, headache, and body aches. A person usually develops symptoms 12-to-48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. Most people with norovirus get better within 1-to-3 days.
To prevent infection, Escobar urges everyone to wash their hands thoroughly and often, using “good old-fashioned soap.” She also recommends that people do a good job of rinsing fruits and vegetables, and to cook shellfish thoroughly.
“Stay home when sick, and for two days after symptoms stop,” Escobar writes. “Avoid preparing food for others when sick, and for two days after symptoms stop.”