Several outbreaks of Norovirus have been reported across the state according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
The department reports Norovirus is the most common of the viruses that cause gastroenteritis.
Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain.
Riverstone Health recommends people in day care, schools and health care stay home for 48 hours after symptoms have resolved.
Food service workers should stay home for 72 hours.
“In that period just following the illness, you’re still shedding the virus but it tends to decrease over time,”said Kim Bailey, a Registered Nurse and Communicable Diseases Manager for Riverstone Health. “So we really want for people especially food service workers to stay home during that period when they’re still shedding the virus quite a bit.”
Bailey says the vomit from someone with Norovirus can be very infectious.
“When people throw up, it gets aerosolized and little particles get thrown into the air,” said Bailey. “And that is infectious to other people that are in the room.”
To prevent the spread of Norovirus, Riverstone Health recommends washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and cleaning “high touch” surfaces with a solution of one-third cup of bleach to a gallon of water.