Health advisory: Public warned vs gastroenteritis


The CNMI community is being urged to take precautionary measures due to an ongoing spread of gastroenteritis in the community.


The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s Public Health/Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program and Epidemiology Laboratory Capacity Program issued an advisory yesterday about an ongoing spread of gastroenteritis (norovirus-like) in the community.


Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the stomach and/or intestines and may be may have the following symptoms:


Most common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Other symptoms are fever, headache, and body aches.


Symptoms can lead to dehydration, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses. Symptoms of dehydration: decrease in urination, dry mouth and throat, or feeling dizzy when standing up. Children who are dehydrated may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.


Norovirus is a highly contagious virus. A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. Most people with norovirus illness get better within one to three days. The virus can stay in your stool for two weeks or more after you feel better.


Precautionary Measures

  • Practice proper hand hygiene.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables and cook seafood thoroughly,
  • When you are sick, do not prepare food or care for others who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces, and
  • Wash laundry thoroughly that may be contaminated with vomit or stool (feces).




There is no specific medicine to treat people with norovirus-like illness. Norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics because it is a viral (not a bacterial) infection.


If you have norovirus-like illness. you should drink plenty of liquids to replace fluid lost from throwing up and diarrhea. This will help prevent dehydration.


If you think you or someone you are caring for is severely dehydrated, please see a medical provider immediately.


For more information about gastroenteritis (norovirus), visit or call the PHEP program at (670) 236-8211.


To report a notifiable disease, call CHCC at (670) 234-8950. (Saipan Tribune)

Saipan Tribune

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