Briefs: Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 | CraigDailyPress.com

Briefs: Monday, Dec. 24, 2012

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is reporting widespread gastrointestinal illness (norovirus) throughout Colorado, including in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, schools and child care centers. Everyone is encouraged to increase simple prevention measures to stop further spread of illness in the community. Symptoms of the illness include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping.

This infection is very common this time of year. Symptoms usually last about 1-3 days and can cause dehydration, which can be dangerous for children and for elderly people."

Stomach illness is easily spread to others by direct contact with an ill person, touching contaminated surfaces or objects and then placing their hand in their mouth, or eating food that might have been contaminated by an ill person. This is especially a concern in group settings such as nursing homes and in child care settings where there are young children in diapers, and children play together and share toys.

In order to reduce the spread of illness, the department has recommended any child with stomach illness be kept home, that school or child care facility staff members encourage frequent hand washing and careful cleaning of the facility and that family members who are ill delay visiting relatives in nursing homes or assisted living facilities until 2 days after illness has passed. Health care workers who become ill with vomiting or diarrhea should stay home from work until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped.

For more information on norovirus, including frequently asked questions go to http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus.

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