December 22, 2014

DHEC: Stomach virus cases spreading across SC

State health officials say a stomach virus is quickly spreading across South Carolina. The Department of Health and Environmental Control says the state has seen twice the normal number of Norovirus cases so far this year.

Adam Myrick of DHEC explains, “Typical symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping. We want people to understand that frequent hand washing is still the best way to protect yourself. If you do have those type of symptoms, stay home from work and it’s your kids, keep them out of school.”

Most people show symptoms within 48 hours of exposure to Norovirus, with the illness typically lasting one to two days, but sharing of the virus  might continue for two weeks after recovery, according to a DHEC statement.

Jerry Gibson, M.D., state epidemiologist and director of DHEC’s Bureau of Disease Control says, “We’ve increased our surveillance efforts across the state and we’re working with schools, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other partner organizations and institutional settings to create awareness about Norovirus and what you can do to control transmission.”

Cleaning guidelines for institutions experiencing a diarrheal outbreak have been posted on DHEC’s web site.