Possible norovirus outbreak hits Brevard assisted living facility

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Channel 9 is looking into a possible norovirus outbreak at an assisted living facility in Brevard County.   

Eleven people have been taken to hospitals this week.

The health department in Brevard County is trying to keep residents isolated in their rooms at 120-apartment Titusville Towers Assisted Living Facility.

Brevard County health officials said norovirus is spread through close contact and that cruise ships and facilities like Titusville Towers are the most common places they see outbreaks.    

Residents are being isolated in their rooms to try to keep it from spreading.

"It's kind of scary, especially in a nursing home like that. (There are) a lot of elderly people," said Jeanie Jason, who lives near the facility.

Jason said she has seen several ambulances at the facility over the past week.

Brevard County Fire Rescue said they have transported 11 patients since Monday with norovirus-like symptoms, which include stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Five of those patients were transported Thursday.

"Norovirus is very transmissible, and that's what we think this is right now," said Barry Inman with the Brevard County Health Department.

The health department has been inspecting the facility.

On Friday, workers in masks were cleaning surfaces outside the building, and signs on the door warning guests about the problem.

Health officials say norovirus is spread by close contact, typically from surfaces to hands and then to the mouth.

"We're going to monitor. We gave them a list, two page list, from a lot of disinfecting to a lot of hand washing," said Inman.

Managers at the facility said they are following health department mandates. They said they are isolating residents in their rooms, staying away from group activities and working to keep surfaces clean.

"Hopefully they can catch it on time, and hopefully no one else gets it around here," said Jason.

Health department officials said they should know by Monday if it is norovirus that is affecting the residents of the facility. They said illness from norovirus typically lasts about two days.