Health services releases Norovirus warning

EDMONTON – Recent outbreaks of Norovirus could make the holidays a lot less merry for Edmonton families.

Alberta Health Services released an advisory this week in Edmonton, said the holiday combination of food and family could be a potent mix for more outbreaks.

“It’s a time when people get together in groups and they serve food. Both are places where Norovirus can be transmitted.”

The highly contagious virus spreads through direct human contact and can be transmitted by surfaces and food preparation. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, fever and aches, and typically last 24 to 48 hours.

Transmission of Norovirus can be slowed by frequent hand washing, particularly before eating or after using the bathroom. Talbot said anyone feeling ill should stay away from food preparation, despite the holiday temptation to pitch in.

“The last thing you want to do is be responsible for your friends and family falling ill,” he said.

For families that experience an outbreak, medical attention is rarely necessary and should be sought only if symptoms persist for more than 72 hours or are particularly severe.

Loss of fluids can be dangerous for the young or the elderly.

“If you’re dealing with a young child or someone who is older and you think they’re starting to get in trouble, it’s a good idea to seek medical care more quickly,” he said.


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