LAKE CHARLES, La. (WVUE/KNOE) - Hundreds of people in Lake Charles are battling with the norovirus after visiting a casino.
The outbreak happened at the L’Auberge Casino last weekend and at least 200 people became sick after attending events there.
Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh, Medical Director for the State Health Office in Lake Charles says the virus is highly contagious.
“How it started at this point doesn’t really matter anymore, because now we are getting transmission within the community. So, however, people picked it up in that setting they are now taking it home and spreading it from one family member to another family member to another family member," Cavanaugh said.
Cavanaugh also stated that people are contagious when they have symptoms and sometimes up to three weeks after they’re gone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Anyone can get infected and sick with norovirus. You can get norovirus from having direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or water, or touching contaminated surfaces then putting your unwashed hands in your mouth.
The CDC says norovirus is the number one cause of foodborne illnesses.
The virus is rarely life-threatening, but it can lead to dehydration and even death in those with compromised immune systems. In the U.S., norovirus causes an average of 570–800 deaths, 56,000–71,000 hospitalizations, 400,000 emergency department visits, according to the CDC.
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