There is a virus spreading around in a Californian county that's raising alarm for the number of people getting affected.
Almost 1,000 students, teachers, and staff in 32 schools in Yolo county located in northern California have transmitted norovirus, a gastrointestinal illness. The Yolo County Health & Human Services Agency has recorded cases of over 952 students, teachers, and staff who are sick and suffering from stomach cramps, vomiting and/or diarrhea in schools across Yolo county.
Officials have raised alarm bells as the number of sick people is increasing every day. Specimen testing has identified and confirmed the outbreak to be the norovirus. The illness is highly contagious. It also commonly spreads through touching surfaces that have already been contaminated with the said virus. It can also spread through close contact with someone who is infected or by eating contaminated food or drink.
Public schools are not only ones affected as the University of California, Davis is also hurt by the virus. Yolo county included the west area of Sacramento. Dr. Ron Chapman, Yolo County's Public Health Officer is advising residents to just stay home once there is any sign of illness such as stomach pain, fever, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. The doctor is also asking people to stay for an additional two days at home even after the symptoms are gone for their further safety and recovery and to lessen chances of infecting more people. People, after all, can transfer norovirus to others for at least three days after being sick.
The Yolo Public Information Twitter account has been posting updates, reminders and other related announcements about the illness. The Twitter posts also include a link to the Yolo county website for the county's complete press release on the outbreak. It includes a strong reminder to residents about the importance of proper hand hygiene through frequent hand washing with soap and water in helping prevent getting infected by the outbreak.
Norovirus is the leading cause of outbreaks of diarrhea and vomiting in the U.S. and it spreads quickly.