Casino known as getaway for Texans warns of norovirus outbreak

LAKE CHARLES, Louisana (KTRK) -- L'Auberge Casino Resort, a popular getaway for people living in southeast Texas, has warned its guests ahead of the weekend of a norovirus outbreak happening in the Louisiana town.

The casino's website directs people to the Louisiana Department of Health and its advisory about a possible outbreak. Health officials said they became aware of the outbreak after a number of people reported becoming ill at the casino. The source of it, though, is still being investigated.

"L'Auberge Lake Charles has stringent sanitation procedures in place. In addition, we are reminding guests and team members to regularly wash their hands and take other health safety precautions," the casino stated on its website.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the highly contagious type of stomach virus appears to be spreading in the Calcasieu and Vernon parishes, which is where the Lake Charles area is located.

Illness caused by norovirus is often mistakenly called "stomach flu," though, norovirus is not related to the flu, health officials added.

Norovirus spreads by direct contact with an ill person; touching contaminated surfaces and then putting your hands in your mouth; and consuming contaminated food or water.

Symptoms, which typically begin 24 to 48 hours after infection and usually last one to two days, include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, body aches, a run-down feeling, and mild fever.

If you think you have symptoms of a possible infection, rest and drink plenty of fluids. Antibiotics cannot help because the infection is viral - antibiotics only work on bacterial infections. Most importantly, avoid contact with other people and make sure to wash your hands often.

Also, clean any dirty clothes, making sure to handle soiled items with care. Do not prepare food for others and disinfect any contaminated surfaces with bleach. You are contagious from the moment you start feeling sick to the first few days after you recover. If you suspect an outbreak in your community, you should also contact your state or local health department.

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