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Quarantine Hits 3 More Hospitals In San Mateo

According to a report, San Mateo Seniors quarantine 3 more medical facilities after the Norovirus outbreak this winter, which is unusually reported more this year than the// past.

San Mateo County health officials said today that the gastrointestinal virus outbreak, which has already sickened dozens of people in a Belmont senior living center, has caused 45 people to become ill. The doctors added that the outbreak is being reported more this year than past.

Health Officials reported that nearly 25 persons (12 patients and 13 staffers) have become sick in the county run San Mateo Medical Center's long-term care wing due to the norovirus and at two undisclosed locations, more than 21 people have fallen ill.

Health Officials said that they have warned elderly residents at three San Mateo County nursing homes to avoid common areas and eat meals in their rooms after the outbreak.

Norovirus, a group of common viruses frequently show up during winter months in group settings such as cruise ships, schools and nursing homes. It spreads quickly and easily through food or drink that has been handled by someone fighting the bug, contact with doorknobs, toilet handles or other surfaces touched by someone who has been vomiting or suffering from diarrhea.

Noroviruses typically cause a one- or two-day bout of vomiting and diarrhea. It is often accompanied by mild fever, headache, muscle ache and fatigue. They are more dangerous in nursing home or hospital settings with patients becoming gravely ill.

Officials as a preventive measure have notified emergency rooms countywide of the outbreak and have established some procedures like --- Isolating the patients and asking infected staff to stay home --- to be followed in all the suspected locations.

"We're telling them to close the dining room, the meeting rooms, and cancel social activities," said county health department official Dr. Alvaro Garza. At all the Medical Centers, no new patients are being admitted to the long-term care wing - he said. He added that staffers at the facilities are also being asked to wear gowns, gloves and masks.

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