this a a story from the AP just to give people an idea of what is
Originally published February 18, 2004, 6:06 PM EST
Health officials confirmed Wednesday that the intestinal flu that
broke out at one city hospital was caused by the Norwalk virus. The
virus is suspected in an outbreak at another hospital.
Dr. Peter Beilenson, Baltimore's health commissioner, said late
Wednesday that laboratory tests on samples from patients and staff at
Good Samaritan Hospital showed that some of the 60 patients and 100
staff members who have become ill since last week had the Norwalk
The virus, which Beilenson emphasized is not a major public health
issue, causes gastrointestinal distress, including nausea, diarrhea
and vomiting. The virus does not require treatment, he said, and
lasts only 24 to 48 hours.
About 40 patients and staff at Johns Hopkins Hospital developed
similar symptoms this week, Beilenson said. Tests are under way to
determine if the Norwalk virus is responsible.
But the virus is very common this time of year, he said, and can
Frequent hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of the
While most people who contract the virus recover quickly, elderly
people or those with other illnesses could become dehydrated and
require fluid intravenously, Beilenson said.
Both hospitals are thoroughly cleaning the affected areas.
Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press