California wildfire shelter struck by norovirus outbreak even as rescue efforts continue

Butte County public health spokeswoman Lisa Almaguer on Thursday released a statement, saying that lab tests results have confirmed the outbreak of the virus


                            California wildfire shelter struck by norovirus outbreak even as rescue efforts continue

As rescue workers scramble to search for over 600 people who are unaccounted for in the deadly California wildfires, latest reports have emerged that one of the shelters in Northern California housing evacuated people has been hit by an outbreak of norovirus.

Butte County public health spokeswoman Lisa Almaguer on Thursday released a statement, saying that lab tests results have confirmed the outbreak of the virus and that those who have fallen sick at the shelter have been quarantined in Chico. Reports stated that the people affected by the virus have been kept in an area separate from healthy evacuees.

Power lines rest on cars that were burned by Camp Fire on November 10, 2018, in Paradise, California. (Getty Images)
Power lines rest on cars that were burned by Camp Fire on November 10, 2018, in Paradise, California. (Getty Images)

Although Almaguer confirmed the outbreak of the debilitating virus, she did not reveal exactly how many people have contracted it in the particular shelter. Norovirus can cause diarrhea, fever and body aches and is a highly contagious disease. 

Reports shortly after the news was confirmed stated that staff mopped the floors with bleach at the Neighborhood Church in Chico, where a large room has been converted into a makeshift medical care center for the evacuees.

State authorities on Thursday announced that the death toll from California's Camp Fire had risen to 63, bringing the entire count in the state to 66 fatalities in the country's deadliest wildfire in a century. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue workers are searching for more human remains in the charred towns, the Associated Press reported.

Officials also said that they are planning to bring mobile homes to the affected regions for thousands of people who have lost their houses to the Northern California wildfire.

A helicopter drops flame retardant on a wildfire on November 10, 2018, in Malibu, California. (Getty Images)
A helicopter drops flame retardant on a wildfire on November 10, 2018, in Malibu, California. (Getty Images)

Mark Ghilarducci from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said that US and state officials are also looking into rental properties and hotels to accommodate people who have been rendered homeless.

The wildfire in the northern region reportedly displaced 52,000 people and destroyed more than 7,600 homes. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long on Wednesday announced that they are also arranging for temporary schools and hospitals because rebuilding entire institutions will take some time.