Norovirus Cases in Ventura County

Ventura County Public Health was notified on Wednesday, March 8th of multiple students in the Oxnard-based El Rio school district, with complaints of nausea and vomiting. An investigation was initiated by Ventura County Public Health, in conjunction with Ventura County Environmental Health.

Infection control measures were implemented and reinforced throughout the investigation. Ventura County Public Health’s lab was able to identify Norovirus as the organism responsible for the symptoms.

“We’re following these cases closely,” said Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin, “and are encouraged that it seems to be on the decline, though we will continue to monitor it.”

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that comes on rapidly and causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The incubation time for this virus is 12-48 hours and the symptoms last one to three days. Norovirus can be transmitted through direct contact with another person who is infected, contaminated surfaces and or eating contaminated food. The virus can cause inflammation of the stomach, intestines or both. It’s common and is often found where large groups of people congregate, such as assisted-living centers, and schools.

The most effective way of preventing this illness is frequent hand washing, especially after using the restroom and before eating or drinking. Other infection control measures are exclusion of symptomatic people from group settings and frequent environmental cleaning. Affected people should stay home from school or work and not return to their normal activities until they have been symptom-free for three days.

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