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Here are some tips to help you prevent the spread of highly infectious noroviruses.
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A total of 93 people are now expected to be associated with a Norovirus outbreak at the Windjammer Restaurant and Upper Deck Pub in South Burlington

Bradley Tompkins, Foods Vermont Mental Health Minister said temporary deafness It includes 91 people reporting illness after eating in the restaurant in March and two others considered "secondary cases".

More: Restaurant Windjammer returns to business after Norovirus outbreak

Tompkins members of the Windjammer had been ill before the virus reached customers. The windjammer reopened on Sunday after a two-day shutdown, leaving time for cleaning and disinfecting the restaurant.

Tompkins said that norovirus outbreaks are not uncommon in Vermont but are more likely to be reported in long-term care facilities, schools and prisons than they are in restaurants.

Here's what you need to know to stay healthy.

More: Norovirus Outbreak Suffering from Windjammer; Restaurant closed until Sunday

What is Norovirus?

Many people refer to Norovirus as a "gastric bypass," as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say. It is a disease that affects the stomach and intestines and causes "a rapid onset of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach cramps," Tompkins of the Department of Health said.

There is no treatment, but most people recover after one to three days, according to the Vermont Department of Health.

Because the disease causes diarrhea and vomiting, it can lead to dehydration. Other symptoms are fever, headache and body pain, according to CDC

How common is Norovirus

Norovirus suffers from millions of people every year in the US every year, especially during the winter months, according to the CDC. The disease spreads quickly and can infect anyone.

Norovirus contributes about 570 to 800 deaths annually, according to the CDC. Young children and older adults are most susceptible to serious illnesses including dehydration.

It's not clear how many people get Norovirus every year in Vermont because individual cases do not need to be reported to the Vermont Department of Health.

Tompkins told the epidemiologist that Vermont had five norovirus outbreaks in 2015, ten outbreaks in 2016 and one outbreak in 2017.

What steps help prevent noroviruses?

Norovirus spreads between people through traces of feces or vomit. It can also spread through contaminated food, water or surfaces. Wash your hands, especially after using the toilet or changing diapers and before you touch the food.

"Washing your hands for 30 seconds with warm water and soap and doing so frequently will get any contamination from your hands," said Tompkins.

Do not prepare for others while you are ill. Disinfect contaminated surfaces with a chlorine bleach or other cleaner.

Anyone affected by Norovirus should stay home from work or school until he has been symptom free for 24 hours. The virus may remain in the feces for several weeks after the symptoms have passed away, making frequent hand washing important.

Contact April McCullum at 802-660-1863 or amccullum@freepressmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at @April_McCullum .

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