April 4, 2020

Norovirus Outbreak at Stateville Illinois Correctional Center

A suspected norovirus outbreak has been declared at the Stateville Correctional Facility in Illinois. Illinois Department of Corrections spokesperson Melaney Arnold told Food Poisoning Bulletin that approximately 144 inmates reported becoming ill after Christmas. No patients have been hospitalized.  Food testing is underway to try to determine the source of the outbreak.

Prison CellsThe Department of Corrections and the Illinois Department of Public Health are working on the outbreak investigation and control efforts. Samples have been sent to the state laboratory, and public health officials are waiting for results.

Norovirus is extremely contagious and can be spread person-to-person, through projectile vomiting, touching contaminated surfaces, or through eating contaminated food and drink. It causes viral gastroenteritis, with symptoms including nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. In rare cases, victims become sick enough to be hospitalized. There is no specific treatment for norovirus, other than maintaining hydration.

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