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Fri May 3 17:48:36 PDT 2019
Norovirus Cases Come Ashore In Florida
By ERIC PERA / The Ledger
Posted Feb 11, 2003 at 2:23 AM
LAKELAND -- Outbreaks of the virus that plagued some of the state’s cruise
lines last year are popping up in Polk and at least 17 other counties,
prompting an investigation by state health officials.
The Florida Department of Health inquiry into the Norovirus, also known as
Norwalk-like virus, was made public Monday.
In Polk, dozens of residents in a long-term care facility came down with
the stomach illness in early January, but no other cases have been
confirmed, Polk Health Director Daniel Haight said.
Haight would not identify the facility or release any information about the
He stressed, however, the importance of hand washing at work or any public
Although highly contagious, Norovirus is not considered especially
dangerous, although the very young and the elderly may become dehydrated if
not properly treated, Haight said.
Norovirus is really a group of viruses that cause symptoms that mimic the
stomach flu, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
“It’s definitely not the flu,” Haight said.
Symptoms of Norovirus last up to three days, and may be associated with a
low-grade fever, headache, muscle aches and fatigue.
“This illness is extremely common during the winter months, when people are
more likely to be confined indoors,” state Department of Health Secretary
John O. Agwunobi said in a news release.
In addition to human contact, the virus is spread through contaminated
water and food.
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