Norovirus outbreak at Richmond Heights assisted living facility

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RICHMOND HEIGHTS, MO (KTVI)-- Twelve residents of a St. Louis senior living facility have Norovirus.

Norovirus is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines and can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain.  Most people will recover from it in a few days, but young children and the elderly are more vulnerable to Norovirus.

The St. Louis County Health Department says the first outbreak at the Sunrise Senior Living Center on Clayton Road in Richmond Heights occurred several weeks ago.  It was followed by another outbreak a couple of weeks later and at least 12 residents were diagnosed with the Norovirus. The health department has started an investigation and is educating the staff at Sunrise on how to stop the spread of the virus.

The owner of the facility, Sunrise Senior Living in McClean, Virginia issued a statement saying: "Residents safety and well being is our priority.  We have been working closely with the St. Louis County Health Department and have implemented steps to prevent the spread of the virus.  The action includes, limiting visitations, serving meals in resident’s rooms, increasing liquids for residents and we have frequent communications with families."

The county health department says the best way to prevent the spread of the Norovirus is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom and before handling food.

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