About 1,000 students, teachers and staff members across 32 schools in Yolo County have been sickened by norovirus. According to a press release issued by the county, more than 952 students, teachers and staff members are sick with stomach cramps, vomiting and/or diarrhea in schools throughout the county. In fact, the number of sick people “is increasing every day at a very alarming rate,” the county’s statement said. In addition, county officials tweeted out an alert to residents asking them to take adequate precautions to prevent the spread of the infection. Apart from public schools in the area, the University of California at Davis has also been affected.
Understanding the Dangers of Noroviruses
Norovirus is a virus that is highly contagious among human beings. People acquire the virus by ingesting materials contaminated with small amounts of infected feces or fluids. Food and water are commonly contaminated particularly when they are being processed or handled by infected persona. Noroviruses are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the United States. Some of the common signs and symptoms of a norovirus infection include vomiting and/or watery diarrhea.
A norovirus infection usually lasts two to three days and resolves by itself without any treatment. However, those who are infected must stay well-hydrated to prevent dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include decreased urination, dry mouth and throat and dizziness when standing up. Because the disease is highly contagious, it is important that caretakers clean their hands any time they come into contact with the ill person or their environment.
What Steps Can You Take?
Here are a few steps you can take to prevent the spread of a norovirus infection:
- If you are experiencing symptoms of an infection such as stomach pain, fever, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, stay home and minimize contact with others.
- Stay home for an additional 48 hours after symptoms are gone.
- Wash your hands frequently throughout the day with soap and water.
- Clean contaminated surfaces regularly with appropriate disinfectant such as bleach
- Don’t prepare food or drink for other if you are sick.
If you have been sickened by norovirus as a result of consuming food at a restaurant or any other location where negligence played a part, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages and losses. Victims may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced California food poisoning lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.