Nebraska DHHS reports 14 suspected or confirmed Norovirus outbreaks

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 10:29 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Nebraska DHHS said peak months for Norovirus are from December through March. Most years, health officials said it slows down in April, but not this year.

DHHS reports 14 suspected or confirmed Norovirus outbreaks. Local pediatricians said Norovirus is spread by vomit or stool. The most common places for Norovirus spread are at long-term care facilities, child care facilities and schools.

“Everybody washes their hands for 20 seconds,” Merry Manor administrator Tina Wright said.

Merry Manor requires all of their children to follow specific health and safety guidelines even before the pandemic.

But, now, they’re taking extra steps to make sure everyone is healthy.

Wright said, “It’s just our daily sanitizing that we do. We sanitize before and after every meal. we disinfect 3 or 4 times a day keeping everything clean.”

This isn’t just for COVID-19, but all viral infections. Doctors say for Norovirus, hand sanitizer doesn’t solely kill it.

Local pediatricians say people need to take more sanitary measures.

Pediatrician Dr. Katie Borcyk said, “It’s that good hand hygiene specifically the importance of soap and water when washing your hands. not just hand sanitizer.”

Merry Manor doesn’t have a Norovirus outbreak, but similar facilities do. Doctors say it doesn’t take a lot of viral particles to spread Norovirus.

“It is an incredibly contagious virus,” Dr. Borcyk said. “It can cause pretty severe vomiting and diarrhea.”

In an alert sent out Monday by DHHS, the people with Norovirus should isolate for two days to stop the spread.

Facilities with outbreaks should use bleach products on toilets and tables to get rid of all potentially infected particles.

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