The Stomach Bug

by Ashley Zilka on December 29, 2010 at 5:58 am

It may not be flu season just yet, but the Muskingum County Health Department says there is something you should look out for…

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus which is often referred to as the stomach flu.  Director of Nursing Gloria Kieffer says this virus can make people feel extremely ill and vomit or have diarrhea for up to three days.

"People need to be sure they don’t get too dehydrated. Usually it doesn’t last very long but it can be serious. So if people feel like they have been vomiting too long or diarrhea too long and they are becoming dehydrated, then they need to contact their physician," said Kieffer. 

And although Kieffer says people tend to think they have the flu, there is a distinct difference.

"Our flu season in this area peaks in January and February. This illness that is going around now isn’t really influenza, although people do refer it as the flu or stomach flu. Influenza is really a respiratory illness," said Kieffer. 

Kieffer says there are tips to prevent the spread of norovirus such as practicing proper hand hygiene and not preparing food while infected.  She also wants to remind the public that it is not too late to get your flu shots.