Military News

Norovirus blamed for sickening 62 at the Armed Forces Retirement Home

Sixty-two residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home are sick with norovirus.
Sixty-two residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home are sick with norovirus. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com File

The illness sickening residents at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport has been identified as norovirus.

The number of sick residents is up to 62, according to the AFRH. Nine have been hospitalized.

Residents of the home began reporting feeling ill Monday.

Norovirus is common, and very contagious. The virus affects people of all ages and can cause inflammation in the stomach or intestines. Symptoms include stomach pain, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.

It can be contracted through contaminated consuming food or liquids, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus and then putting your fingers in your mouth, or having contact with an infected person.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus spreads quickly in closed places such as nursing homes and retirement communities, day-care centers and cruise ships. There are 19 million to 21 million cases each year in the U.S.

Leaders at the AFRH held a town hall meeting Wednesday to discuss the investigation and the steps being taken to contain the virus. They have also been posting flyers and using closed-circuit television to remind residents of the importance of handwashing.

Regina Zilbermints: 228-896-2340, @RZilbermints

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