Jackson County Norovirus

Source of Article:  http://www.panhandleparade.com/index.php/mbb/article/jackson_county_norovirus/mbb7713653/
01/23/09 - 06:42 PM

Jackson County Floridan

Jackson County, Fla:

Visitation at three area correctional institutions was suspended over the weekend due to a norovirus outbreak.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections Web site, the Jackson Correctional Institution, Jackson Work Camp and Graceville Work Camp have reported outbreaks of the common virus, which causes symptoms similar to the stomach flu.

No other institutions in Jackson County have reported any related issues, Jackson County Health Department Director William Long reported Friday.

“The health department has been working with infection control personnel on this issue and as a result they are quarantining the individuals who they have confirmed have contracted the norovirus,” Long said.

Long said norovirus is a rather common illness.“A lot of people describe it as a stomach flu characterized by nausea, vomiting, fatigue headache or sweats,” Long said.

Long said DOC has restricted visitation at the three facilities to keep the virus from going into and out of the institutions.

“It could have originated from spoiled food, poor sanitation, poor personal hygiene, that all often leads to its transmission. In the case we don’t know yet. The best weapon against transmission is washing hands well, making certain that eating utensils are clean, that type of thing,” Long explained.

He said a person who contracts the virus could show symptoms anywhere from two days to several days.

“It’s typically not life threatening. Some dehydration may occur as a result of the symptoms ... Those who feel they may have contracted it may call their physician, or of course the emergency room if it’s after hours,” Long said.

As of Friday, DOC reported that 84 inmates at JCI were affected.

The closure of the two work camps to visitation was precautionary, DOC reported.

According to the administration at the Jackson County Correctional Facility, the jail is not experiencing an outbreak and visitation there is not affected.

DOC suggested that prospective visitors after this weekend call JCI, JWC or GWC to determine whether visitation is reopened.

 

 

 

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