Norovirus outbreak reported in Richmond

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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a place patients go to get better, but over the last couple days it appears the Richmond Rehabilitation Center has had bigger health issues.

"We can confirm that Richmond Health and Rehabilitation, formerly Kenwood Nursing Home, is experiencing currently an outbreak of norovirus among patients and staff," said Christie Green of the Madison County Health Department.

Green said there are less than ten cases of the norovirus reported at the start of the outbreak, and the Health Department has been tracking this since the first of February.

"What we see in these facilities," started Green, "is people who have weakened immune systems or in some way are medically fragile. They are much more susceptible to the virus itself."

The nursing center declined to comment when WKYT first contacted them about the possibility of an outbreak. The Health Department says they are working with the center to stop the spread of the sickness and they're seeing results.

"When nursing homes experience an unusual number of cases among their patients of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, before they even confirm it's norovirus, they start treating it as an outbreak. We are seeing a declining number of cases which means they're having good success with the preventative measures that they're putting in place," explained Green.

The Health Department said the norovirus typically passes after a day or two, but before inspectors will say the center is clear they will watch for additional cases to pop up during a six day period.

The Health Department said the rehab center has notified visitors of the spread of the sickness, and they hope that this gastrointestinal virus is on it's way out of the center.

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