RECENT OUTBREAK OF HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS NOROVIRUS IN CALIFORNIA PROMPTS NUMC TO ISSUE WARNING AND SAFETY TIPS
Victor F. Politi, MD, FACP, FACEP Michael B. Mirotznik, Esq.,
President/CEO Chairman Board of Directors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2017
East Meadow (NY) – As San Jose officials scramble to deal with a recent outbreak of the highly contagious Norovirus which has been blamed for sickening more than 250 students and shutting down ten schools, doctors on Long Island are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
Victor F. Politi, MD, FACP, FACEP, NuHealth/NUMC’s President/CEO advises local residents to take extra precautions around food and to frequently wash their hands, as the virus enters through ingestion. “To get this virus, you basically have to ingest it, said Dr. Politi. “That means people should wash their hands frequently, especially right before serving food to others.”
Norovirus typically peaks between the months of December and April, meaning residents may not be on alert right now to protect themselves from the virus. “Typically people don’t associate the warm weather during this time of year with the norovirus, which is why we need to be extra vigilant, said Dr. Politi. “And even after symptoms disappear, the virus can spread from people for up to two days.”
According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 21 million cases of norovirus infections annually in the U.S., of which one-quarter are related to food-borne outbreaks. Norovirus causes 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths, mostly in young children and the elderly. There’s no vaccine to prevent the norovirus or drugs to treat it.
NUMC officials advise the following safety tips:
· Frequently wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
· Keep hands away from the face
· Scrutinize food in public places, such as buffets
· Avoid sharing cups and utensils
· If you suspect having the virus, stay out of the kitchen and avoid person to person contact
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NuHealth is a Long Island health care organization delivering essential medical care and disease and lifestyle management to everyone at every stage of life. Also known as Nassau Health Care Corporation, NuHealth is a public benefit corporation managing the operations of Nassau Medical Center, A. Holly Patterson Extended Care and a network of Family Health Centers that bring primary and specialty care out into the community. By emphasizing wellness, cultural sensitivity and collaborative efforts with the North Shore-LIJ Health System, NuHealth is working to make good care more affordable and easier to access.
For more information about NuHealth or its Centers of Care, visit www.nuhealth.net.