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Health & Human Services News

What Is "Norovirus"

Public Health officials at Buncombe County Health and Human Services are working with a local elementary school to help reduce the spread of a virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. 

The suspected virus is Norovirus and it is very contagious. 

Many people refer to it as “stomach flu” even though it is not related to influenza.  People with norovirus feel very sick with symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, chills and stomach cramps. Anyone can get norovirus, which is very common in the US, especially during winter months.

By taking these easy steps, we can reduce the spread of this virus in our community. 

  • Stay at home if you are sick for at least 24 hours after symptoms end
  • Wash your hands, especially after using the toilet and before preparing foods
  •  Hand sanitizer does not work to kill norovirus.  Clean up vomit or diarrhea with a bleach cleaner or mix 1 part bleach with 10 parts water.  Never use undiluted bleach. And be sure to use a fresh bleach mix every day.

Although there is not a treatment for this illness, some people have to be hospitalized because they become dehydrated.  This illness can be very hard on young children and infants, as well as elderly adults.

For more information see the fact sheets below,  check out or  call 828-250-5109 to speak to a Buncombe County Disease Control Nurse.

Table: News Item Documents
File NameSizeTypeDate & Time Added
Fact Sheet 144 KB 03/10/2014 8:29 AM
Fact Sheet in Spanish 141 KB 03/11/2014 11:56 AM