Norovirus spreading through Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Norovirus spreading through Iowa


An outbreak of norovirus continues to spread in Iowa.  So far it's been confirmed in Polk, Johnson, Scott, Dubuque, Black Hawk, and Winneshiek Counties.

But health officials say many cases go unreported, so the virus is likely popping up statewide.  The virus spreads quickly.  The bad news is, there's no vaccine or antibiotics that can treat it.

Hospitals and clinics are seeing a lot of people with a stomach bug these days.  Since Christmas, the Iowa Department of Public Health has been seeing an uptick in cases of norovirus.

It comes with symptoms like diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting.  While no treatment is available, the virus should run its course within two days.

It spreads through contact with fecal matter, so frequent hand washing after using the bathroom or changing dirty diapers is very important.

If you get sick, drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.  Again, wash your hands often and stay home to avoid spreading the virus.

Do not prepare food for yourself or anyone else for three days after symptoms of the norovirus end, to avoid ingesting its germs.

To avoid getting norovirus, clean and disinfect any surfaces that come in contact with feces or vomit.  Carefully wash fruits and veggies before eating them.

As we've reported, Luther College in Decorah is experiencing an outbreak of norovirus.  Outbreaks can frequently occur on cruise ships, in college dorms, and nursing homes, since the close quarters allow it to spread easily.


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