FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. - A Fayette County rehabilitation facility has posted signs on the doors telling visitors to stay out while it deals with a stomach virus.
The Georgia Department of Public Health says about nine patients and staff at Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Lafayette have been stricken with a virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting. While lab results aren't back yet, the department says the process of elimination points to the norovirus.
Norovirus is the culprit in most of the intestinal attacks that sweep through cruise ships. Earlier this month, the virus forced a Gwinnett County school to close briefly for a thorough decontamination and to give everyone a time to stay away from each other and stop spreading the germs between each other.
Melissa Tobin-D'Angelo, M.D., MPH, from the Georgia Public Health Department says the virus is "a very transmissible one. Very few viral particles can result in transmission."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says noroviruses are "the leading cause of reported outbreaks of gastroenteritis," and that outbreaks happen in all months, but "over 80% of the outbreaks occur from November to April." The CDC says "healthcare facilities, including nursing homes and hospitals, are the most commonly reported settings for outbreaks.'
Hand gels are not very effective against it and thorough scrubbing with hot, soapy water is best for disinfecting hands. Chlorine is the most effective agent for cleaning surfaces.
The CDC says that the best way to stop this virus from spreading is to isolate the people who are infected for a few days and keep washing your hands frequently.