Leonard Williams

Norovirus experts at research campus prepare to tackle future outbreaks

February 03, 2012

By: Sarah Pisciuneri

Time Warner Cable News

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – The norovirus is still at outbreak status in eight North Carolina counties. Scientists at the North Carolina Research Campus say though the symptoms are very similar, the virus is not to be confused with the flu.

Dr. Leonard Williams, a lead scientist with N.C. A&T who also works at the research campus, is partnering with doctors from 28 other institutions across the country in a five-year $25 million project to investigate the illness.

He says most people have experienced norovirus without even knowing and often confused it for the flu because it has similar symptoms.

“Upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, muscle pain,” Williams explained.

The virus, Williams says, can still be contagious up to 72 hours after symptoms are gone with limited contact.

“Because norovirus is typically spread or can be spread from person to person, you don’t necessarily have to be within close confinements,” he said.

The best prevention, he says, is making sure to wash your hands.

Williams and his team will eventually be responsible for developing prevention and control strategies in the future to try and prevent outbreaks.

The counties in outbreak status include Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Alamance, Orange and Wake.



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