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Norovirus

Every year, during the winter months, some unwanted viruses like the flu, colds and “stomach flu” circulate. Currently we are seeing a “stomach virus” or “stomach flu” caused mainly by norovirus. This virus has been in the news for causing problems on cruise ships, nursing homes, and hospitals.

Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines or both. This is called acute gastroenteritis.

The most common symptoms:

  • diarrhea
  • throwing up
  • nausea
  • stomach pain

Other symptoms:

  • fever
  • headache
  • body aches

If you have norovirus illness, you can feel extremely ill and vomit or have diarrhea many times a day. This can lead to dehydration, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses.
Most people with norovirus illness get better within 1 to 3 days. If symptoms continue, please see your doctor.

Symptoms of dehydration:

  • decrease in urination
  • dry mouth and throat
  • feeling dizzy when standing up

Children who are dehydrated may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.

Ways to prevent getting or passing on Norovirus are:

  • wash your hands often
  • rinse fruits & vegetables
  • cook shellfish thoroughly
  • clean surfaces with a bleach based cleaner & wash laundry & tumble dry
  • when you’re sick, don’t prepare food or care for others
  • Stay home from work or school and avoid social gatherings

For additional information visit www.cdc.gov/norovirus


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