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Indian River County Public Health: Norovirus-Like Illnesses on the Rise in Indian River County

Indian River COunty - Thursday March 14, 2022: Indian River County Public Health is reporting an increase in Norovirus-like illness. This type of illness is commonly known as the “stomach flu”, but is not related to true influenza, which causes respiratory illness. The symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain. Symptoms develop generally within 12 to 48 hours after you have been exposed to an illness. Most people are better within one to three days. The illness can spread while you are sick and for several days after you recover.

“Healthy people usually recover within one to three days at home without medical care, but the very young and the elderly are at greater risk for dehydration and severe illness”, said Miranda Swanson, Florida Department of Health in Indian River County Administrator. “It is very important for people to wash their hands thoroughly, especially after using the restroom, as well as before preparing and consuming food.”

Norovirus and Norovirus-like illness are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the United States, sickening an estimated 21 million people annually. Norovirus is very easily spread from person to person by consuming food and drinks contaminated with an infected person’s stool, by touching contaminated surfaces and objects, or by caring for someone who is infected with the virus. It is resistant to some disinfectants and can remain on surfaces for days to weeks. The virus is easily spread in places where people gather, like daycare centers, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, schools, and cruise ships.

More information can be found at:

Steps you should take to prevent contamination:

• Wash hands with soap and running water after using the toilet, changing diapers, and before eating or handling food. Hand sanitizers should not be used in place of washing with soap and water.
• Stay home for at least 24 hours after symptoms stop.
• Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
• When you are sick and for 2 to 3 days after you recover, DO NOT prepare food or care for others.
• Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of illness. Use chlorine bleach solution (1/3 cup of household bleach per gallon of water for
non-porous surfaces).
• Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with stool or vomitus (use hot water and soap).

More information can be found at CDC – Norovirus.

The Florida Department of Health is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board. It works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

To learn more about the Florida Department of Health visit: