Norovirus in Assisted Living

Our customers are reporting increases in the incidence of norovirus in their assisted living communities. Whether these reports are due to heightened awareness of the contagious virus or an actual increase in the incidence of cases is uncertain. However, because providers are being faced with this challenge more often, we felt a review of norovirus based on information from the CDC would be a helpful Tuesday Tip.

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What is norovirus?
Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.

How common is norovirus?
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes 19-21 million illnesses and contributes to 56,000-71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths. Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States.

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