Norovirus hits nursing homes and schools - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Norovirus hits nursing homes and schools

By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  Albany Health Care is encouraging visitors to stay away because some staff and residents are infected with the norovirus.

"It doesn't take a lot of time to infect someone because it's a very hardy virus, said Southwest Georgia District Health Director Jacqueline Grant.

The hardy virus spreads on surfaces and through human interaction causing nausea, vomiting,  diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, and chills.

Albany Healthcare Administrator Denene Hurst is making sure staff clean all three floors of the nursing home.

"The Elderly people can be dehydrated and a small bug may be big to them," Hurst said.

Roughly 15 of 153 residents are sick with the virus. They're quarantined to one floor.  Six to ten of 165 staff members were sent home with symptoms.

"We asked them to go home and we're monitoring them to make sure they're over the bug before they return," Hurst added.

Workers are cleaning handrails, door knobs and other surfaces residents and guests may touch.Sarah Carte is willing to take the risk to visit her husband, but changed her plans to bring friends along.

" I suggested they not come but as a family member I feel safe," Carte said.  

She'll wash her hands after her visit. Dougherty County Schools will also disinfect all the buildings during Friday's furlough day.

"It's our policy and practice to meet requirements made by the district health director," said Dougherty County Schools Public Information Director R.D. Harter.

As schools focus more on spreading positive attitudes, Albany Health Care will continue to keep its facility clean for everyone's safety.

The norovirus can be contagious before and after people show symptoms. For more information on how to protect yourself from the stomach flu click here.


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