A norovirus outbreak has been identified at Willow Creek Healthcare Center in Clovis.
The Fresno County Department of Public Health on Thursday confirmed the outbreak of the highly contagious virus at the nursing home.
“We are working closely with the facility to implement measures to limit its spread,” Dr. Ken Bird, the county’s health officer, said in an email statement.
The county learned about the outbreakDec. 9 and began working with Willow Creek at that time. A site visit was made Dec. 16, Mary Morrisson, a supervising public health nurse, said in an email. “We are still working on this outbreak and have contact with the facility on a daily basis,” she said.
Norovirus causes diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. Most people recover within three days, but it can lead to dehydration in young children, older adults and people with other illnesses.
Morrisson said she did not have a final tally of how many patients have become ill with the virus.
We are still working on this outbreak and have contact with the facility on a daily basis.
Mary Morrisson, Fresno County supervising public health nurse
Norovirus is spread by eating food or drinks that have been contaminated with the virus or by coming into contact with someone who is infected, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus can spread quickly in closed spaces, such as nursing homes, cruise ships and daycare centers.
According to the nursing home’s website, Willow Creek Healthcare Center is a 159-bed skilled nursing facility that offers short-term rehabilitation services and long-term care. A Willow Creek administrator referred questions about the virus outbreak to the home’s corporate office. The nursing home is owned by Genesis HealthCare, a Pennsylvania-based company that operates about 500 centers in 34 states. Genesis did not return a call for comment.
According to Medicare’s nursing home compare website, which rates nursing home for staffing and other quality measures, Willow Creek was given an overall five-star rating, the highest mark possible.