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Officials Confirm Norovirus Outbreak Among Camp Fire Evacuees

CHICO (CBS SF) -- As if losing their homes wasn't traumatic, some Camp Fire victims faced new health concerns Wednesday after officials confirmed a norovirus outbreak at an evacuee shelter in Chico.

Butte County Public Health on Wednesday confirmed the outbreak at the Neighborhood Church evacuation shelter in Chico. Officials on Thursday said 179 fire victims are at the shelter and 21 of them have contracted the norovirus.

People with symptoms have been separated, using separate bathroom facilities, and being cared for by public health nurses.

Evacuees staying at the Church of the Nazarene in Oroville are also showing symptoms of the virus.

Health officials said 352 fire victims are staying at the Nazarene Church. 31 of them are sick. Officials are still waiting for test results to confirm it is a second norovirus outbreak.

"We did have the county health officials come in, as well as the state. We have been trying to segregate sick people from well people so it doesn't spread," said Barbara Wood with the Red Cross.

Health experts are urging evacuees to wash their hands as frequently as possible to try and stave off the contagious virus.

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