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What’s the most common stomach ‘bug’?

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The news has been full of stories about Norovirus, a virus that can cause Gastroenteritis (stomach flu).

Centra Care physicians have seen a steadily increasing number of patients suffering from Gastroenteritis, and Norovirus is the probable cause.​

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Norovirus is a very contagious virus. Contracted from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching a contaminated surface, the virus causes your stomach or intestines (or both!) to get inflamed. This leads to stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

Anyone of any age can be infected with Norovirus and get sick. Norovirus is the most common cause of acute Gastroenteritis in the U.S. Norovirus is also the most common cause of food borne-disease outbreaks in the United States. (Source: CDC)

To prevent a new infection, wash your hands frequently, and do not share beverages or eating utensils.

Here are a few recommendations if you or your child catches Gastroenteritis:​

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of clear liquids in small frequent sips.
  • See a doctor if you’re unable to keep any fluids down.
  • Avoid dairy, caffeine and spicy foods until feeling better.
  • Make sure to get plenty of rest.

Gastroenteritis is viral in nature so it can’t be treated with antibiotics. If someone in your household is affected by Gastroenteritis, be aware that it can lead to dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include: decreased urination, extreme lethargy and light-headedness.