BELLAIRE — Kim Scott recently heard norovirus was beginning to spread into the region.
She knew it wouldn't be long until she noticed its effects at Bellaire Pharmacy, where she works as a pharmacy technician.
Sure enough, within the past week Pepto-Bismol and Pedialyte have become more frequent sellers. And several doctors have called looking for anti-nausea suppositories for patients.
Health professionals, particularly in areas north of Traverse City, are encouraging good hygiene and handwashing to prevent widespread outbreaks of the very contagious stomach bug.
Reports of illnesses in schools and communities across Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties prompted the Health Department of Northwest Michigan to issue an advisory about norovirus, a quick-moving illness that can cause stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Patients usually are sick for a day or two, but the virus can spread through contact with infected people, food or surfaces. That's why people are particularly susceptible in cold-weather months, when they are cooped up indoors, said Dr. Joshua Meyerson, the health department's medical director.
Norovirus is not required to be reported to health departments, so it's often difficult to pinpoint the origin of illness. But when stomach symptoms break out quickly among a group of people, "it's almost always due to norovirus," Meyerson said.
In Grand Traverse County, health workers suspected two norovirus outbreaks in October, including at a company luncheon and at a day-care center, said Fred Keeslar, director of the county's health department. Neither were proven.
"We could have sporadic cases going through and we wouldn't even know it was happening," Keeslar said. "It can be, so to speak, under the radar."
For that reason, he and Meyerson both urged vigilance toward poper hygiene.
Staff members in Central Lake Public Schools retained many of the cleaning practices started last year, when the H1N1 influenza strain sickened children and closed schools across the region.
A few students have been ill with stomach symptoms, but not enough to be considered an outbreak, Superintendent Steve Paliewicz said.
Custodians use a spray disinfectant on furniture and teachers have wipes in classrooms, he said. Common areas such as drinking fountains, keyboards and doorknobs have extra focus.
Jessica Yuhaus, a preschool teacher at Sprigs-N-Sprouts child care in Alden, reminds children about washing their hands and keeping their fingers out of their mouths.
They range in age from about 18 months to 4 years. Caregivers clean toys every day to prevent germs from spreading, and soak toys in bleach water after the youngest children — who are more likely to chew or drool on them — set them down.
"Even though we're teaching them, it doesn't always happen," Yuhaus said. "We remind them."
Good hygiene can help stave off widespread outbreaks
BELLAIRE — Kim Scott recently heard norovirus was beginning to spread into the region.
Film Fest Kicks Off With the Bite
Carrie and Don Sattler watched "Jaws" as lovestruck teens on a first date. Now 35 years into their marriage they hunkered into lawn chairs and windbreakers for another first — their first Traverse City Film Festival flick at the Open Space.Continued ...
Grand Traverse County board to meet
Grand Traverse County board members will hold their monthly board meeting Wednesday night.Continued ...
Deputies' union rep leaves loaded gun in bathroom
A loaded handgun left behind in a Grand Traverse County governmental center bathroom belonged to a union official who represents sheriff’s deputies in contract negotiations.Continued ...
Film Festival Schedule: 07/30/2014
What's happening Wednesday at the Traverse City Film Festival:Continued ...
Film Festival Outtakes: 07/30/2014
Six Chicago-based Greenpeace workers are in Traverse City for Film Fest week to promote the organization's campaigns on honeybees, the rainforest, the Arctic and other environmental issues. (Plus more)Continued ...
Old city manager signed off on splash pad changes
Former City Manager Ben Bifoss approved a change order that led to several current problems with the city's splash pad at Clinch Park, city documents show.Continued ...
City clerk: I made a mistake
A city official acknowledged the city violated state law when he denied an open records request for a draft report on the city's problem-plagued splash pad.Continued ...
Moore donates $250,000 to launch international movie program
TRAVERSE CITY — Michael Moore wants to broadcast Traverse City's love of independent, documentary and foreign films to the world. The Traverse City Film Festival co-founder signed a $250,000 check today in a quiet corner of the festival's box office.Continued ...
Business helps veterans
Jeremy Whittaker and Roland Maximilian Schultz didn’t stop giving back to the community once they left the military.Continued ...
104th race attracts youthful contenders
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ten people — eight Republicans and two Democrats — are vying to earn their party's nomination for the 104th District state House seat, which covers Grand Traverse County. The Aug. 5 primary will determine party finalists for the November general election. This is the first in a series of candidate profiles.Continued ...
Elmwood Township man faces child pornography charges
An Elmwood Township man is accused of distributing child pornography. A investigation involving Leelanau County sheriff's detectives and FBI agents led them to Michael Edward Burr Jr., 22, who will appear Wednesday morning in 86th District Court for a video arraignment.Continued ...
1st-time candidate knocking on doors; ex-board member offers experience
Carol Crawford spends a lot of time walking long, dusty dirt roads and driveways as part of her campaign to join the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners.Continued ...
Director comes home for film festival
The Traverse City Film Festival will provide the ideal backdrop for Layne Austin Simescu’s return from college.Continued ...
Spartans show their film shorts
Cinematic Spartans will help celebrate the Traverse City Film Festival’s 10th anniversary with a showing of student films. This marks the first year Michigan State University students have been invited to the festival arena.Continued ...
Rain possible this afternoon, but likely dry for 'Jaws' tonight
Thunderstorms are expected to roll through downtown Traverse City this afternoon, a potentially frightening proposition for Film Festival goers -- even before they head to the Open Space to see the thriller “Jaws” at dusk.Continued ...
Foundation business anchors in Traverse
A rapidly growing business that fixes foundations is hiring about 20 employees for its new outlet in Traverse City.Continued ...
Glenn Puit: Farmers market, good credit and cool temps
It’s a cool, cool summer. Sounds like a bad song from the '80s band Bananarama. Yikes. Just when you thought you’d never hear the word Bananarama again some bald guy raises those big hair memories.Continued ...
Trails lead to economic growth
Martha Ryan guesses bikers riding along the Leelanau Trail between Traverse City and Suttons Bay boost her restaurant’s business by a hefty 10 percent. It doesn’t just bring more people into her restaurant. It brings hungry people.Continued ...
Study shows economic impact of Vasa Pathway
Businesses can track revenue, profits and stock prices to determine their economic impact. That's a tough task for recreation experts like Julie Clark, executive director of Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails.Continued ...
Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak celebrates decade in business
Beryl Skrocki saw a downtown in need of a little action when she looked over the Village of Empire in 2004.Continued ...
- Monday, July 28, 2014
NMC to lease Shadowland Motel
Northwestern Michigan College trustees approved a plan to turn a local motel that’s been the site of recent drug raids and criminal arrests into temporary student housing.Continued ...
Traverse City Film Fest Schedule: 07/29/2014
What's happening Tuesday at the Traverse City Film Festival:Continued ...
Film Fest ticket sales heat up
Thunderstorms and rain and wind. Oh my! Traverse City Film Festival organizers and patrons are crossing their fingers as the threat of cold, stormy weather looms, especially on the eve of the 10th rendition of the annual event.Continued ...
Expect chilly weather during Open Space movies
Movie-lovers who attend the Traverse City Film Festival's first Open Space showing may want to pack warm clothes and an umbrella along with their lawn chairs.Continued ...
UPDATE: YMCA officials remain optimistic on opening date
There is no longer an electronic ticker on the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA's website that counts down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the new facility's opening.Continued ...
- Film Fest Kicks Off With the Bite