A special Veterans Day flag-raising ceremony and program planned for the Powell House Saturday afternoon was canceled at the last minute due to a number of residents becoming ill with a stomach illness.
Some called it a quarantine, but it really wasn't, according to Lynn Kelly, acting manager of the Powell House.
Kelly said the house was open, not quarantined, the staff just requested the ill residents stay in their rooms. She did not say how many residents became ill or what illness they contracted.
Sarah Vatican, vice president for Assisted Living Concepts, which operates the Powell House, said on Friday it was believed the illness was the Norwalk virus, but the lab reports on the specifics were not yet available.
According to information on the Food and Drug Administration Web site, common names of the illness caused by the Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses are viral gastroenteritis, acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis, food poisoning, and food infection.
The disease is self-limiting, mild, and characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Headache and low-grade fever may occur. The infectious dose is unknown but presumed to be low.
Only the common cold is reported more frequently than viral gastroenteritis as a cause of illness in the U.S. Although viral gastroenteritis is caused by a number of viruses, it is estimated that Norwalk viruses are responsible for about one-third of the cases not involving the 6-month-to-2-year-old age group. In developing countries the percentage of individuals who have developed immunity is very high at an early age. In the U.S. the percentage increases gradually with age, reaching 50 percent in the population over 18 years of age. Immunity, however, is not permanent and re-infection may occur.