The Naples Daily News reports 47 residents of ManorCare Health Services, a 118-bed nursing home in East Naples, Florida became ill late last week from what could be the Norwalk virus with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. Read the new article here.
Norwalk virus, from the norovirus class, can cause acute gastroenteritis in humans and is the outbreak that often afflicts cruise ship passengers because of how easy and quickly it spreads among people living in close quarters. The same holds true for nursing homes and other health-care centers.
The virus spreads by people in food preparation, by touching contaminated surfaces or objects and then placing one’s hands in his or her mouth, or having direct contact with someone who is infected. Both stool and vomit are infectious, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
These are the types of problems in nursing homes which can be avoided with proper hygeine, hand washing, and a staff trained to prevent the spread of infectious disease.