September 16, 2019

Norovirus Outbreak at Boutwells Landing in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota

A norovirus outbreak has sickened dozens of residents at Boutwells Landing in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota. That is a senior living facility. The first illnesses were reported on January 4, 2019.

Boutswell Landing norovirus outbreak MN

About 10% of the 600 residents and 15% of employees have been sickened, Campus Administrator Wendy Kingbay told the Minneapolis StarTribune. The outbreak has occurred at senior apartments, townhouses, and assisted living apartments.

Norovirus is a very contagious pathogen that causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms appear quickly, usually within a few hours, after a person is infected. Most people are sick for a few days and most recover without a doctor’s care. People in high risk groups, including the elderly, may have a more serious illness and may need to be hospitalized. Officials did not say whether or not anyone was hospitalized in this outbreak.

The facility has canceled community gatherings and activities until the outbreak is over. This illness is more common in the winter months, since people tend to remain indoors. Employees who were sick were sent home and cannot return to work until they have been well for 24 hours.

The best way to prevent norovirus is to stay home and away from other people when you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea. People who work with the public should be extra careful. Wash your hands well with soap and water before you handle, prepare, or serve food, and after you take care of someone who is sick. And when you are ill, especially with a diarrheal illness, stay home until symptoms have been gone for at least one day.

 

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