CDC warns it’s the peak season for norovirus

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The CDC says the peak time to contract the norovirus is between December and April. The virus exhibits itself with stomach flu-like symptoms, and can leave you very dehydrated.

Norovirus is a very contagious, with symptoms of vomiting and stomach pain. But there are some simple steps people can take to prevent themselves from getting sick.

Norovirus, which can commonly be confused with the stomach flu or food poisoning, can be especially contagious around this time of year. Symptoms for norovirus include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and nausea. And without the proper attention, can leave you feeling dehydrated and weak.

“It’s a virus not a bacteria so antibiotics aren’t going to help, and in fact can even make the problem worse. A liquid diet, a clear liquid diet for the first 24 hours. Usually the symptoms will run their course within 2 to 3 days,” says Ronald David Edwards, Med. Dir. for Freeman Health System Urgent Care.

And those who have the virus can pass it along without even realizing it. The virus can be spread by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus or having direct contact with someone who has contracted it. And if you have norovirus, you especially want to stay away from preparing food.

“So that’s why you should always wash your vegetables. If you’re eating seafood like shellfish, make sure it’s cooked thoroughly because Norovirus can live up to 145 degrees,” says Edwards.

However, doctors say preventing yourself from getting the illness may be easier than you think. Practicing good hygiene is key in keeping you healthy this norovirus season.

“Wash your hands, wash your hands and wash your hands,” says Edwards.

Health professionals advise to disinfect possibly contaminated surfaces to reduce the chances of further transmission. And even after you stop exhibiting symptoms of norovirus you can still pass it long for two weeks after you’ve had it.

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