How to Protect Yourself, Your Children from Growing Norovirus Outbreak in Schools

News Archive November 11, 2010

How to Protect Yourself, Your Children from Growing Norovirus Outbreak in Schools

Loyola infectious disease experts available to give tips on avoiding highly contagious illness
MAYWOOD, Ill. -- A growing norovirus outbreak has made more 125 people sick at about two dozen schools in suburban Cook County. Noroviruses are highly contagious, and symptoms of illness include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. Illnesses from noroviruses tend to come on suddenly and the victim may feel very sick. Most people recover within 1 to 2 days and should remain at home for 24 hours after symptoms have cleared. “People can become infected with noroviruses by eating contaminated food, touching surfaces contaminated with norovirus or through direct person-to-person contact,” said Dr. Jorge Parada, director of infection control at Loyola University Health System. “Practicing basic personal hygiene like frequently washing your hands and not placing your fingers in your mouth or eyes are effective preventive measures to take against noroviruses, as well as against other infectious diseases like the flu.” Other steps to take include: * Carefully wash fruits and vegetables, and steam oysters before eating them. * Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately using a bleach-based household cleaner. * Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with virus. Use hot water and soap. * Flush or discard any human waste in the toilet and keep the surrounding area clean.
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.
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