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Stomach flu making the rounds

The city may have escaped the winter weather this year, but it has not escaped one illness associated with the season.
“A lot of our day cares and long-term-care facilities have had outbreaks of norovirus,” said Janice Walters, the local health unit’s program manager for the control of infectious diseases.
The virus, commonly known as the stomach flu, tends to show up at this time of year, and this year is no exception, said Walters.
At this time of year, “people tend to congregate more indoors and there’s an easier spread of infection in those closed environments,” she said.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health currently has outbreaks at four day cares, two long-term-care facilities and one retirement home, she said, adding that not all the outbreaks are in the city.
Because the virus is not considered “reportable,” the health unit could not give an estimate of the number of cases in the general community.
Symptoms of the virus include diarrhea, vomiting cramps, headache, fever, chills and sore throat. It is highly contagious, said Walters.
The illness usually lasts one or two days, but people are advised to stay home for at least 48 hours after symptoms have stopped to avoid spreading the infection, she said.

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