FORT GRATIOT TWP (WWJ/AP) – The St. Clair County Health Department says at least 30 residents, staff and visitors became ill in the past week at a senior living center.

The health department blames the illnesses at the Blue Water Lodge, on Keewahdin Road in Fort Gratiot Township, on an outbreak of norovirus.

Norovirus is part of a family of highly contagious viruses that are spread person-to-person and cause flu-like symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping. Some people also experience headache, low-grade fever, and body aches. Symptoms usually last for 24 to 48 hours.

Luke Andrews is communications manager for Holiday Retirement, which operates Blue Water Lodge. He told the Times Herald of Port Huron that the facility’s dining room has been shut down to try to slow or stop the virus’ spread.

“We have developed a pretty swift and thorough protocol for handling norovirus,” Andrews said. “We have posted signs at each entrance of the building warning of the norovirus threat. We treat the facility as residents’ individual homes, so they are still free to come and go at any time, and guests are welcome as well.”

Staff members are delivering meals to residents’ apartments.

Andrews says the dining room will remain closed until 72 hours after the last victim’s symptoms subside.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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