Gastrointestinal illness outbreak reported in Carbondale area |

Gastrointestinal illness outbreak reported in Carbondale area

Garfield County Public Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are investigating an outbreak of gastroenteritis illness in Garfield County, according to a news release.

“Approximately 30 individuals have reported symptoms consistent with norovirus,” the release states.

Norovirus is a common cause of gastrointestinal illnesses.

The outbreak is primarily in the Carbondale area as of Wednesday, but it could spread throughout the county quickly in settings where people come into contact with a contaminated food item or share close contact with others, such as at schools, child care centers and restaurants, the release states.

Gastrointestinal illnesses can cause:

• Vomiting

• Diarrhea

• Nausea

• Stomach cramps

People who became ill on or after May 7 are asked to complete a brief questionnaire to assist the health department in preventing additional spread of the virus.

“Norovirus is very common. It takes only a few viral particles to make a person sick and doesn’t die off surfaces without the use of bleach,” Public Health Nurse Rachel Kappler said.

“Norovirus is always around and commonly called the stomach bug or food poisoning.”

Those experiencing symptoms should not prepare food for others and limit contact with people until all symptoms are gone for at least 48 hours.

Ross Montessori School reported an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness on May 20.

“Currently, 50% of teachers and staff have gastrointestinal symptoms that started within the last 24 hours,” the release states.

“We have also heard of community reports of similar illnesses. We believe we have acted as quickly and as best as possible.”

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