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    Community Services Division News


    Norovirus Training Seminar Scheduled for Feb. 12 at S. Broadway Cultural Center


    The City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department, a partner with the county's environmental health team, is hosting a free special training event for local personnel working in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospital environments, schools, and daycares on Thursday, Feb. 12 at the South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025 Broadway Boulevard SE, from 9 a.m. to noon. The focus of the event is to raise awareness of norovirus outbreaks, with special attention to early detection and infection control during outbreaks.

    Specific topics to be covered include recognition of norovirus symptoms, understanding how the virus is transmitted and how to reduce the number of people infected during an outbreak as well as methods to properly sanitize facilities in order to prevent the virus from continuing to infect new hosts. The objective is to raise awareness and provide information to help professionals limit outbreaks at their respective facilities.

    Interested participants are asked to register for the event either by phone to Elizabeth Eastman (505) 768-2638, or online at http://www.cabq.gov/environmentalhealth/food-safety/foodborne-illness-information/norovirus-conference-registration.

    "We have already seen several outbreaks of norovirus in facilities around Albuquerque. The virus spreads quickly in the community, but especially in crowded places. Prevention is key, and we hope that increased awareness will prevent future outbreaks," said Dr. Mark DiMenna, Deputy Director of the Environmental Health Department. 

    Norovirus, also commonly known as “Norwalk virus", is the most common cause of food-borne illness in the United States, causing approximately 21 million cases of illness each year. The virus is extremely contagious and can be spread from contact with others or through coming into contact with contaminated food, water or surfaces. Symptoms of infection include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Norovirus is commonly associated with close-quarters living such as nursing homes, assisted care facilities, hospitals and cruise ships.

    Tips for avoiding norovirus infection include:

    • Wash hands thoroughly and frequently

    • Rinse fruits and vegetable before eating

    • Cook shellfish thoroughly before eating

    • Clean and sanitize surfaces thoroughly

    For further information on norovirus, visit the city's Environmental Health Department website: http://www.cabq.gov/environmentalhealth/food-safety/foodborne-illness-information/norovirus


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