Jackson Hole Daily

by Symptom Advice on January 3, 2012

Health officials confirm one case of norovirus By Tram Whitehurst, Jackson Hole, Wyoming January 2, 2012

Teton County public health officials have confirmed one case of norovirus and suspect other people who have reported symptoms may also have the illness.Although several samples have yet to come back from the state lab, the fact that at least one case has been con-firmed means others are likely positive as well, Terri Gregory, Teton County Public Health manager, said.“we continue to have people call in reporting symptoms,” she said. “It’s pretty widespread at this point.”Norovirus, or “stomach flu,” is spread through contaminated foods or surfaces. Symptoms — including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps — generally last one to two days.Health officials urge residents to frequently wash their hands, disinfect surfaces and stay home from work or school if they are sick. If the virus is not kept in check, Gregory said, it could last all winter.This is the first winter during which county health officials have investigated the presence of norovirus. Traditionally, it has been a summer illness, hitting the county particularly hard last summer.Gregory said she thinks increased awareness of the virus could be the reason why people are reporting symptoms this winter. “I’m beginning to think it’s a year-round illness, but it just flares up during busy times, like summer and Thanksgiving and Christmas,” she said.on the bright side, Gregory said the number of influenza cases in the county is still low, though influenza season typically doesn’t hit until January and February.“It would be miserable to have them both,” Gregory said of norovirus and the flu.Although the influenza vaccine does not protect against norovirus, health officials urge residents to get their flu shot.for information, contact Teton County Public Health at 733-6401.

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