Norovirus cases on the rise

Norovirus cases on the rise
File photo (Source: WOIO)

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - health officials issued a warning Monday: more and more people are getting sick from the norovirus.

And they say the sickness that's showing up the same time as the flu is catching people off-guard.

You may remember back in the spring of 2013, the

was forced to close their doors because of the norovirus. Seven elementary schools were cleaned and disinfected for a week.

Dr. Melissa Osborn with

works with infectious diseases.

"It's very contagious so even with the best hygiene you are still at risk at getting sick," says Dr. Osborn.

She also says hand sanitizer helps but does not kill the virus.

Cruise ships have had issues with the norovirus too. Ships have come to port early when hundreds contracted the virus.

According to the Cuyahoga County Board of Health it spreads through direct contact.

For instance, the norovirus could spread through food that is prepared by someone who is or was ill.

"It can get on your clothes, can get on your bed sheets, so it's not just on the hands," says Dr. Osborn.

The norovirus, also called a "stomach flu" has symptoms that can last 1-2 days.

"Vomiting, diarrhea, sometimes fever, symptoms that go with dehydration," says Dr. Osborn.

Thankfully, most people can ride out this virus at home, not the hospital.

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