Viral gastroenteritis is an infection
caused by a variety of viruses that
results in vomiting or diarrhea. The
affected person may also have headache,
fever, and abdominal cramps ("stomach
ache"). Symptoms may begin as early as 12 hours
following exposure or as late as 48
hours after exposure, and typically last
24 to 60 hours.
that cause gastroenteritis, such as
Norovirus, are easily transmitted
through food, by person-to-person
contact, or by contaminated surfaces.
In most cases
ill persons recover without medical
attention. Norovirus infection
occasionally results in hospitalization
due mainly to dehydration, with the very
young and elderly at greater risk. Those
with severe diarrhea should drink lots
Frequent hand washing using soap and
warm running water for a minimum of 20
seconds and preventing contamination of
food, drinks, water, and ice are
critical to prevent the spread of
viruses that cause gastroenteritis.
Refer to the links below for more
information about viral gastroenteritis
as well as a fact sheet and cleaning
guidelines for norovirus, a common virus
that cause gastroenteritis.
outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis in
schools, long-term care facilities,
restaurants and other facilities should
be reported to the Genesee County Health
Department by calling (810) 257-3612.
County Health Department can arrange for
testing of samples from ill persons to
confirm outbreaks if needed as well as
assist with outbreak control activities.
sample letters suggested for use in
schools and long-term care
facilities/nursing homes experiencing an
outbreak of viral gastroenteritis.