S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reports it has investigated more than twice the usual number of reported outbreaks thought to be associated with Norovirus, an infectious illness that includes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping.
Jerry Gibson, M.D., state epidemiologist and director of DHEC’s Bureau of Disease Control, says most people show symptoms within 48 hours of exposure to Norovirus and the illness typically lasts one to two days
“These illnesses have occurred in a wide variety of institutional settings including schools, nursing homes and assisted living facilities,” Gibson says. “Most of the illnesses have been caused by Norovirus, and this significant increase is similar to what we’re hearing is happening in other states.”
“In long term care facilities, we recommend a proactive approach and advise that all visitors wash their hands with soap and water when they go visit a loved one,” Gibson warns. “We also encourage management to be vigilant and exclude any staff member who shows symptoms of Norovirus.”
Gibson says anyone experiencing diarrhea or vomiting is encouraged to stay home from work or school and wash their hands often to reduce the spread of disease.