Norovirus Break-Out Reported At Licking County Daycare - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Norovirus Break-Out Reported At Licking County Daycare

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NEWARK, Ohio -

The Licking County Health Department says two people have tested positive for norovirus at a daycare at the Licking County Family YMCA.

According to Licking County Health Commissioner Joe Ebel, two out of three samples tested positive for norovirus this week.

Norovirus results in diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting and can be spread through human contact or food. Ebel says you can spread the virus for days even after you have recovered from it.

Ebel says the Health Department was voluntarily contacted by the YMCA after a few people became sick last week. A teacher and a toddler have tested positive for the virus.

"The biggest thing is that it has a scary name. It is a virus just like any other common virus," said Heather Hawkins, Director of Child Development at the Licking County Family YMCA

According to Hawkins every classroom at her daycare which has 123 students is cleaned daily by teachers and then cleaned again at night by a separate staff. Hawkins says parents were notified about the cases of norovirus and encouraged to frequently hand wash.

"We are isolating and excluding the children until they are symptom free. And then the teachers in that individual classroom go in too, they are cleaning the classroom, the toys, the shelves," Hawkins said.

Norovirus spreads in clusters. Last February, 41 people caught the virus at Bryn Du Mansion near Granville in Licking County. The Health Department believed the outbreak stemmed from food served at an event there. Several people from Franklin County who attended the event became sick.

Ebel says preventing further outbreaks of norovirus can be particularly difficult amongst small kids since young ones will not hand wash frequently on their own.

"They're crawling around they're picking up things. Especially after you've changed a diaper, make sure you clean up real well," Ebel said.

Hawkins says her teachers frequently model hand washing for students and ask them to hand wash frequently. She points out that her daycare adheres to standards above the state minimum.

According to Ebel norovirus takes 24 to 48 hours to run its course.

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