At least 40 people in Alta have been stricken with what’s believed to be the Norwalk virus. The illness in Buena Vista County was first reported last week, and by this Monday, at least 40 cases had been reported. County public health administrator Diane Anderson says the first case was reported in Alta, possibly originating at the elementary school. Now the illness seems to have tapered off… and no one was hospitalized. Iowa Department of Public Health spokesman Kevin Teale said the virus being blamed for the Alta illnesses is a strain of the Norwalk virus. The virus is frequently transmitted by food workers who don’t wash their hands. Anderson said her office had undertaken a campaign to educate people on the importance of washing their hands.