UPDATE: Norovirus: myth or fact?

Public Health - Madison and Dane County has been receiving sporadic reports from around Dane County of cases of what is likely norovirus.

MGN Online

UPDATED: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 --- 9:45pm

Christmas joy isn't the only thing spreading across our area. The norovirus is on the prowl in Dane County. Think you know everything there is to know about the illness? It's time to test your stomach bug IQ.

Fact or Myth?

1. FACT: You can get the norovirus from touching a doorknob. You can get the stomach bug from touching something that an infected person had touched whether it's a doorknob, faucet or TV remote.

2. MYTH: There are medications available to kill the norovirus. Unfortunately, you'll just have to let it run its course.

3. MYTH: Pregnant women who get the virus have more to worry about . For, all you expectant mothers out there, if you get the norovirus, your baby won't be directly affected.

And lastly it's neither myth nor fact, just taking the time to keep your home, your family and yourself clean might just be the best gift you can give this holiday season.


Posted Tuesday, December 17, 2013 --- 10:25 a.m.

Public Health - Madison and Dane County has been receiving sporadic reports from around Dane County of cases of what is likely norovirus.

Norovirus, which is sometimes called the winter vomiting bug, is an illness that comes on quickly and produces vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Health officials say it is capable of spreading quickly from person to person.

The most common ways people get it are by touching a surface contaminated with the virus or by eating food that has been contaminated by an infected person.

Specific symptoms include diarrhea, which is usually watery (not bloody), as well as vomiting, cramps, nausea, headache, fatigue and muscle aches. Those infected may also experience a low-grade fever.

Here's what you can do to help prevent the spread of the illness:

—Frequent hand washing, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers and before eating or preparing food.
—Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces by using a bleach-based household cleaner.
—Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with virus after an episode of illness (use hot water and soap).
—Quickly and carefully flush or discard any vomit and/or stool in the toilet and make sure that the surrounding area is sanitized and kept clean.

Norovirus can spread quickly in school and child care settings. If your children seem to show early symptoms of norovirus (headache, stomachache, nausea or other symptoms) you should not let them go to school or child care until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.

Useful Links:

Norovirus fact sheet

Hand washing fact sheet

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