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Norovirus outbreak in Wisconsin

17 July 2012 08:46

Fever is a symptom of the condition

Fever is a symptom of the condition

Beaches surrounding Lake Wazee in Wisconsin were closed by the Jackson County Health Department over the weekend after a suspected outbreak of norovirus.

The virus causes vomiting and diarrhoea as well as nausea, fever, aches and stomach pains and the symptoms can start within hours of exposure.

While generally people recover in a matter of days, it can lead to serious dehydration, which causes sufferers to be admitted to hospital.

Around 200 people are believed to have contracted the virus, which was discovered last week. Initially officials suspected food poisoning was the cause of the illness, but investigations suggest the lake itself may be the source of the virus.

While tests on the lake water have not revealed norovirus, public health officials have found sources of the virus on the beach. Samples from patients are being tested to try and confirm if the cases are indeed norovirus.

The lake water was due to be re-tested on Monday, and the beach will be re-opened if it is safe. Anyone planning on travelling to the area should check their medical travel insurance and ensure they are covered should they contract the virus.