PORT ANGELES — Several illnesses, such as a norovirus and strep throat, are floating around the North Olympic Peninsula, prompting health experts to issue reminders to use proper hygiene and healthcare practices.
People on the Peninsula presenting with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and dizziness have likely contracted a norovirus, according to Dr. Allison Berry, health officer for Clallam and Jefferson counties.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines, better known as acute gastroenteritis.
A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after exposure to the norovirus.
Most recover within one to three days.
“We have seen norovirus here on the Peninsula, but not in any alarming numbers,” Berry said.
“The best way to combat it is to stay hydrated and wash your hands with soap and water when possible because hand sanitizer does not kill the infection.”
Also seen on the Peninsula lately is a spike in respiratory infections, such as strep throat, particularly in school-aged kids.
“We have seen an increase in respiratory illnesses across the Peninsula, particularly Group A Strep and mainly in kids,” Berry said.
The CDC is currently researching a link between COVID-19 infections and Group A Strep. Findings so far show a link in children who had COVID-19 and later contracted strep. They also note an overall increase in strep over the last year.
Symptoms of strep include sore throat, pain in swallowing, swollen tonsils and swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck. It is treated through prescribed antibiotics.
Reporter Ken Park can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.