Norovirus spreading in West Michigan

CALEDONIA, Mich. - The Kent County Health Department says that nearly 100 students at Davenport University have reported symptoms of a norovirus.

Earlier Wednesday, the Ottawa County Health Department also sent out an alert that a norovirus-like illness is circulating in the community and increasing in number.  The bug spreads easily and quickly from person-to-person by touching surfaces contaminated with vomit or feces.

Ottawa County officials say that norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the country.  Most cases are found in enclosed spaces like nursing homes, daycares, schools and cruise ships.

Kent County officials are collecting samples to test for the virus.  Those samples will be sent on to state officials.

The most effective ways to prevent catching a norovirus is to wash your hands with soap and water, especially after using the toilet or changing a diaper.  Always wash your hands before eating or preparing food.  People with norovirus illnesses should not prepare food for at least two days after their symptoms disappear.

You are recommended to clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces, wash laundry thoroughly and stay home if you are sick.

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