Norovirus hits Dutchess County

July 18, 2008 3:53:09 PM PDT
Health officials in a Hudson Valley county are reporting an outbreak of a gastrointestinal virus that has sickened more than 200 people.Dutchess County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Caldwell says his agency is working with the state Health Department to identify the cause of the 24-hour stomach illness known as norovirus.

The first illnesses were reported earlier this week. Health officials are investigating to find the source of the virus.

Noroviruses cause diarrhea and vomiting. Most people recover after a day or two. People get sick by eating food, touching surfaces or contacting people contaminated with the virus.

Residents are urged to take the following measures to help prevent the spread of infection:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and frequently especially after going to the bathroom and before handling food Use of gloves should be used when cleaning diarrhea and/or vomit (use of masks is recommended when cleaning vomit)
  • People who experience symptoms should not attend work or handle food
  • Do not share personal items
  • Avoid drinking untreated water
  • Cook shellfish thoroughly before eating

    In addition, the Centers of Disease Control recommends using paper towels, not a mop, when cleaning vomit.?The surrounding area should be disinfected with a bleach solution of 1/4 cup of household bleach in a gallon of water.?

    For more information on Norovirus and how to reduce your risk, visit:

  • - Fact Sheet
  • NY State Fact Sheet


    WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King