DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH NEWS
The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is investigating multiple outbreaks of norovirus around the state. The Department is recommending precautions be taken, especially around the very young, the elderly and those at any age with weakened immune systems. They are at risk for more serious illness due to norovirus infection.
Norovirus is a highly contagious disease often called the “stomach flu” with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Noroviruses are spread easily from person to person. The CDC cautions that noroviruses can be transmitted by infected people, contaminated food or water, or just by touching contaminated surfaces. “With more people vaccinated against COVID-19 and returning to public life, this common illness is making a comeback,” said Department of Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins.”Unlike COVID-19 however, there is no vaccination to help prevent norovirus infection.”
The best way to prevent norovirus spread is frequent handwashing – and it’s important to note, hand sanitizer does NOT work against norovirus.
If exposed to norovirus, you will typically become sick within 24 to 48 hours The most common symptoms of norovirus are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping. Some people may have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and a general sense of tiredness. If you develop these symptoms, stay home if possible and contact your healthcare provider before seeking medical care so as not to expose others to norovirus in the waiting room. Where possible, don’t go to work or school until 48 hours after symptoms have completely gone away.
If you do not have a medical provider or have other questions, you can contact the Department of Health through the Epidemiology and Response Division in Santa Fe at the 24/7 phone number: 505-827-0006.