Inova Mount Vernon Hospital was in an “isolation precaution” protocol after it was confirmed Tuesday, May 3 that a patient had norovirus.
The protocol didn’t lock down the hospital entirely, but limited visitors to patients and mandated all hospital staff went to strict soap and water hygiene, among other precautions.
“We just wanted to make sure we stop it in its tracks,” said hospital spokesperson Curtis McCormick.
McCormick said there have been no additional cases of the contagious, gastrointestinal virus and hospital operations are returning to normal as of May 11.
According to John Silcox of the Fairfax County Health Department, “The main symptoms of viral gastroenteritis are watery diarrhea and vomiting, but may also include headache, fever, and abdominal cramps. While the symptoms can be unpleasant, viral gastroenteritis is usually not serious and the vast majority of people recover in one or two days. We do not have case numbers as norovirus is not a reportable disease in Virginia, but it is a common cause of outbreaks in places like schools, daycare centers, and long-term care facilities. For example, of the 43 outbreaks we investigated in 2014, 47 percent were caused by Norovirus. We generally see most of our outbreaks between November and April.”
Information on norovirus is available online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd/comdis/norovirus-winter.htm#.