Preventing the Norovirus - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Preventing the Norovirus

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Schools forced to close all across the nation and hitting right here in Eastern Iowa, the Norovirus is causing severe illness in many.

Norovirus or more commonly known as a stomach bug hits fast, hard, and spreads quickly.

Anyone can get the Norovirus, but children are often the ones to catch it and spread it.

Schools because of large group contact are often one of the first places to see the virus in large numbers.

UnityPoint Clinic Dr. Tim Horrigan says once a member of the house hold has it, "about 12 to 24 hours later you are going to get it."

 It is commonly confused with the flu.

 Influenza symptoms are more respiratory with coughing and fever.

 Norovirus is mainly stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting that last 24-48 hours.

 "We tell the children and the families to try and get through it. It is a tough illness for about 48 hours. But there aren't a lot of treatments other than keeping hydrated," said Dr. Horrigan.

 To lessen your chances of getting the virus, doctors emphasize wiping down surfaces and washing hands even more often than normal.

 Hospitals don't tend to track the number of Norovirus cases, but they follow a similar trend to the flu which is now widespread in the state, according to the Center for Disease Control.

 The Norovirus is also a leading cause of foodborne illnesses. The World Heath Organization says 1 in 10 people will be sick with a foodborne illness this year.

Again doctors say hydrate if you get the Norovirus, recommending small amounts of liquid every 30 minutes.

Doctors also say you are still contagious for another day after your symptoms go-away.

They ask during that time, please stay home to cut down on spreading the virus.

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