Norovirus Cases Increase in Northeast This Winter

NBC Universal, Inc.

There’s another virus that’s making news. Now, it’s increasing cases of the nasty stomach bug called norovirus.

Doctors say while people shouldn’t panic, they should think about precautions.

“Yeah, I’m traumatized a bit,” said Emily Feret.

This mom and her family came down with norovirus. It can cause days of vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

"We're texting my husband, I'm like you need to come home from work. It was so intense, I was like I don't know how to function right now," said Feret.

The highly contagious virus spreads easily via hands, surfaces, food and water.

According to the CDC, cases across the country have been surging this winter, including in the Northeast.

“Even though it may be a little bit higher than last year, it's still kind of within a reasonable expectation, but we'll have to keep a close eye on it moving forward,” said UConn Health epidemiologist Dr. David Banach.

Banach tells us cases typically increase in the winter and that it’s important to watch out for clusters, which can happen in places like schools, healthcare facilities and group settings like cruise ships.

“I think we have to be mindful in vulnerable populations, particularly like elderly or very young children that, you know, with serious diarrhea and vomiting, high risk of being a higher risk of being dehydrated,” said Banach.

Banach says most people recover in two or three days and helping to prevent getting it really comes down to soap and water.

“Hand washing is key. And I think one of the challenges with norovirus is it's not easily killed with like ethanol and typical alcohol-based hand sanitizers,” said Banach.

The doctor says generally people don’t need testing or special treatment besides making sure they stay hydrated.

Contact Us