Highly Contagious Stomach Bug Spreading Fast In Northeast: Here's What To Know

A highly contagious stomach bug is spreading nationwide with the highest positivity rate now in the Northeast, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Stomach pain

Stomach pain

Photo Credit: Pixabay/derneuemann

Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines, which is called acute gastroenteritis.

The most common symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain, with fever, headache, and body aches also associated with the illness.

Norovirus outbreaks frequently occur in schools, childcare centers, colleges, and universities.

Foods that are commonly involved in norovirus outbreaks include:

  • Leafy greens (such as lettuce)
  • Fresh fruits
  • Shellfish (such as oysters)

"A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus," says the CDC. "Most people with norovirus illness get better within one to three days, but they can still spread the virus for a few days after."

The CDC says you can get norovirus by:

  • Having direct contact with someone with norovirus, such as by caring for them, sharing food or eating utensils with them, or eating food handled by them.
  • Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus.
  • Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your unwashed fingers in your mouth.

To help prevent getting norovirus, the CDC recommends these steps:

  • Wash your hands well
  • Handle and prepare food safely
  • Do not prepare and handle food or care for others when you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces
  • Wash laundry well

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