Norovirus Outbreak at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center

Norovirus Outbreak at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center

Source:, March 10, 2010

Officials at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center say 15 patients and 16 staff members have been diagnosed with Norovirus this week.

Norovirus is a gastrointestinal or stomach illness that leaves its victims with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, and fatigue.

“It’s spread through the stool and vomit of someone who has the virus so the best thing you can do is wash your hands and stay out if you are sick,” said Lisa Engle with the Chesapeake Health Department.

This is the second norovirus outbreak at a local hospital this month. Last week, officials at Depaul Medical Center in Norfolk say 13 patients and 10 staff members there caught the virus.

Lisa Engle with the Chesapeake Health Department says the problem with norovirus is that it’s highly contagious.

“Think about it, when you wash your hands people turn on the faucet and they turn off the faucet with their clean hand so they are re-contaminating. With someone like norovirus where all it takes is a small particle it’s very easy to pick it back up,” Engle said.

Norovirus should only last a couple of days if treated properly.

Health officials say if you catch it make sure you clean any surface you touch with bleach and hot water. Also make sure to stay home, rest, and drink plenty of fluids.

“Especially if you are a daycare worker, a healthcare worker, or a food handler, you need to stay out for three days after you are well,” Engle said.

Restrictions will be in place at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center for at least three days after no new cases arise.

Officials at Patient First say they have not seen any unusually high norovirus activity. Officials at CHKD say they have seen a rise of about 50 percent in cases there.

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