Gastroenteritis in a Retirement/Assisted Living Facility

Gastrointestinal illness (diarrhea and vomiting) is caused by a virus which can easily spread among residents, staff and visitors of a retirement community.


How does it spread?

Noroviruses, the most common cause of gastrointestinal illness, are very contagious and spread easily from person to person. The virus is found in the stool and vomit of infected people.

People can become infected in several ways, including eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated by infected food handlers, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then touching their mouth before hand washing, or having direct contact with another person who is infected and then touching their mouth before hand washing.


What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may include sudden onset of diarrhea, and vomiting, which can be accompanied by nausea, fever, headache, fatigue.


What should visitors and workers do?

Individuals should not visit the facility if they are having diarrhea and/or vomiting. As well, workers are strongly advised to stay home if they are sick.



For more information, you may contact the Disease Prevention Division of Hamilton county Public Health at (513) 946-7849.


Download a printable version of this fact sheet here.


250 William Howard Taft Road
2nd Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Phone 513.946.7800 Fax 513.946.7890