County officials warn of norovirus outbreak

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — The Santa Cruz County Health Department on Thursday urged residents about a “significant” norovirus outbreak that has already sickened 28 students plus staff in Boulder Creek.

According to health department spokeswoman Jessica Randolph, there have been more than 1,200 cases reported in Yolo County schools, and at least 200 students in the San Jose Unified School District.

“Though this virus is common, this is an unusually high incidence of cases,” Randolph stated.

Norovirus is generally a mild illness that causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and can last from one to three days. People can spread the disease before symptoms begin.

The primary danger from the norovirus sickness is dehydration, which can in some cases lead to hospitalization.

People with vomiting and/or diarrhea should stay home for 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped.

To help avoid the disease, people should wash their hands carefully with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom and changing diapers and before preparing food.

Any households or institutions where people have been sick should clean all surfaces with a bleached household cleaner.

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