Local
4:52 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

New Virus Strain Found In Twenty Fulton Residents

A new strain of norovirus has been moving through the country for the past nine months. It’s a gastrointestinal illness.

Since the second week of January, 20 Fulton County residents have contracted the strain. Today, county health officials took steps aimed at preventing further spread.

The story as aired on All Things Considered, Jan. 29, 2013.
Fulton Co. Health and Wellness medical director Matthew McKenna (l) and Fulton Health Service director Patrice Harris talk about the norovirus.
Credit Charles Edwards / WABE News

  Compared to the almost 950,000 people who live in Fulton County, twenty is not a big number.

“I would anticipate that’s a very tiny tip of a very large iceberg,” said Fulton County Health and Wellness medical director Matthew McKenna.

McKenna says the new strain is highly contagious. Nationwide, 13% of cases have been linked to restaurants.

So far, no Fulton restaurants have been linked to local cases of the strain.

“We are being proactive in increasing the awareness in the public and the food service industry about the virus,” said Fulton County Health Services Patrice Harris.

The Georgia Restaurant Association has posted a health advisory on its website.

Symptoms include nausea and explosive diarrhea. The illness can last up to two days but you could be contagious for a few days longer. Officials recommend frequent hand washing.

For More Information

For more about how you can protect yourself from noroviruses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has online information about the virus both for the public and for health professionals.