Stomach bug going around Las Vegas ID'd as norovirus

LAS VEGAS -- Health officials say a stomach bug is going around in the Las Vegas area, and they've identified norovirus as the cause.

Southern Nevada Health District officials report Wednesday that they've seen an increase in cases of gastrointestinal illness in the past few weeks.

"To see multiple clusters this time of year is not terribly uncommon, but to see this many, at this rate in such close cessation is uncommon for us here in Clark County," Tami Bruno of the epidemiology office said.

She says an investigation began March 28 when people at a conference at the Planet Hollywood started coming down sick.

But Bruno says the illness has been reported around the valley, including at private parties and in long-term care facilities.

"It is very hearty. It lives on the hands. It lives on surfaces for a very long time," Bruno said.

Norovirus is a common virus that brings symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea and cramps. It's contagious and can't be treated with antibiotics.

"When someone gets it in a house, wash hands, wash hands, clean the area. You know there have these little bleach wipes, and they're mild but they have chlorine bleach in them and that is the one thing that kills the virus particles," Doctor Dale Carrison, Chief of Staff of University Medical Center, said.

Officials say sick people should stay home from work or school until at least three days after their symptoms have ended.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)


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