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Norovirus hanging on late into the season, doctors say. How to protect yourself and what to watch for.

Norovirus seems to be causing problems later than usual this year.
Posted at 12:10 PM, Apr 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-24 14:10:51-04

NAMPA, Idaho — Norovirus, also known as the stomach bug, usually peaks in the winter and early spring before tapering off for the summer. But doctors say this year, the virus is sticking around longer.

  • Norovirus is most commonly contracted in schools, restaurants and cruise ships.
  • Wash your hands frequently to help avoid it.
  • Don't use hand sanitizer because doctors say it doesn't affect Norovirus.

(Verbatim of the story that aired is below)
Doctors consider norovirus to be one of the most prominent viruses for spring.

According to the CDC, there have been more outbreaks reported this season, than last season.. As the virus continues to stick around.

"A very small amount of it can make a person sick. So that's one of the major reasons why it spreads so quickly. You just need a little bit around and everybody gets sick." said Dr. Jill Roberts, Associate Professor, USF College of Public Health.

Norovirus, also known as the 'stomach bug,' is difficult to avoid once it's around.

In fact, it can take down entire households in a matter of hours. The most common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain.

People can also have fever, headache, and body aches.

If someone in your household has norovirus, doctors recommend isolating them if possible and avoid touching your face.

"Wash your hands with soap and water if you're having to care for someone with norovirus," said Dr. Laura Arline, Chief Quality Officer for BayCare.

With this virus, you have to be careful to avoid dehydration since it can be hard to keep anything down. Doctors say dehydration is an especially big concern for children.

"With norovirus it's virus it's mainly supportive measures. You know keep the child hydrated, if the child is becoming dehydrated we need to know about it, bring the child to an emergency room," said Dr. Doug Ross, Chief Medical Officer for AdventHealth Tampa.

Norovirus is not airborne— but it's highly contagious, that's why hand washing is your best defense. The one thing you shouldn't use though, is hand sanitizer because doctors say it doesn't work against this virus.

"The gel hand gel doesn't seem to be as effective as preventing this norovirus as washing your hands with good old fashioned soap and water," said Dr. Arline.

Doctors say the most common places people catch this virus is in schools, cruises, and restaurants.

For Wellness Wednesday, I'm senior reporter Roland Beres, Idaho News 6.