Norovirus On The Rise In West Michigan

Posted at 5:08 PM, Mar 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-25 17:10:30-04

MUSKEGON, Mich — The Public Health Department in Muskegon County has seen a rise in gastrointestinal (GI) illness and many cases have been confirmed as Norovirus.  The illness usually includes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping.  Some even suffer fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches.

The main issue with this particular virus, is the how easy it can be spread.  Most common ways it is spread, is through food handling, person-to-person contact, contaminated surfaces and especially in large groups.  A common misconception is that the commonly used alcohol based hand sanitizer is a precaution to take against being infected. These water-free, alcohol-based hand sanitizers do NOT work against Norovirus.

Keeping others around you healthy, if you have the virus, is to be sure to prevent contamination of food and drinks.  Also, if you come down with the illness, do not prepare anything for others at least 3 days after symptoms have stopped.  As mentioned, the hand sanitizer does not work with the Norovirus, simple hand washing with antibacterial soap and hot water does.

Remember, the common “stomach flu” also known as influenza (which is respiratory), is often mistaken as the Norovirus.