Elderly and frail nursing home patients are at especially high risk for gastrointestinal infections that can cause diarrhea and vomiting. These patients are prone to dehydration, which can be deadly for them.

That's why nursing home staff are legally required to report outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness to the local health department. A state epidemiologist may get involved in pinpointing the type of outbreak and will work with the nursing home to stop it from spreading further.

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