Doctors: Norovirus Stomach Bug at Peak Season

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Doctors are warning people to be on high alert against the Norovirus, commonly known as the stomach flu.

Right now is the peak season for the highly contagious bug. Doctors have some advice about what we can do to protect ourselves and our families.

The Norovirus is transmitted on objects, not in the air. But it's robust, living up to two weeks on hard surfaces and up to two months in cold water.

The virus causes vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps that last about two days.

It can spread like wildfire in crowded places such as schools or confined areas like cruise ships.

It's one of the leading causes of food poisoning, often transmitted by eating salads, raw oysters or any other food that comes in contact with contaminated hands or countertops.

"Between 12 and 72 hours will be the incubation period and that makes it tough to figure out what it was that you ate that got you sick," family physician Dr. Phillip Snider told CBN News.

"You can usually do a little investigative work talking to your friends if you both had the same meal and then both got sick, you can trace it back to that," he said.

Although the Norovirus strikes a whopping one in 15 people, it's usually not serious. But sometimes vomiting and diarrhea can cause severe dehydration so it's important to drink plenty of water.

Keeping your hands clean is the best way to avoid contracting the virus. It's also important to thoroughly wash uncooked food.

Disinfecting surfaces with diluted bleach or a cleanser that contains bleach also helps.

Clothing that may have been contaminated should be machine washed and dried immediately.

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Lorie  Johnson

Lorie Johnson

CBN News Medical Reporter

Lorie Johnson reports on the latest information about health and wellness. Since medicine is constantly changing, she makes sure CBN News viewers are up-to-date on what they need to know in order to live a healthy life.  Follow Lorie on Twitter @LorieCBN and "like" her at Facebook.com/LorieJohnsonCBN.