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Norovirus cases on the rise in New England

Norovirus cases on the rise in New England


PORTLAND (WGME) — Norovirus infections are currently on the rise in New England and several surrounding states.

It is commonly known as gastroenteritis.

Dr. Dora Mills, MaineHealth's chief health improvement officer, said symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea.

“The good news is it actually comes and goes. It happens very quickly and then it clears up within 12 hours,” Mills said.

According to the CDC, people infected with the virus usually develop symptoms 12 to 48 hours after infection. Most people infected with the virus feel better within 1 to 3 days.

“One of the challenges with norovirus is that it's so contagious that you don't need to be exposed to that much virus to get infected,” Mills said. “It is commonly seen in outbreaks in crowded settings, such as daycare centers, cruise ships, schools, and nursing homes.”

It is common for such viruses to spike in the winter as more people gather indoors.

“Even if it's just a couple of outbreaks in the New England area,” Mills said. “It's usually enough to cause the number of infections to spike to a high number.”

U.S. laboratories report to the CDC the total number of norovirus tests performed each week.

Currently, 13% of those tests have returned positive in the Northeast.

This is an increase of about 9% compared to October, just a few months ago.

Mills says to be careful around people who have the virus.

“Make sure to wash your hands often around others, or with others if you're sick. Don't share eating utensils or glasses. Don't share towels,” Mills said. Ta.

If you become infected, be sure to stay hydrated.

If you have a weakened immune system or a chronic illness and think you have the virus, you should talk to your doctor, Mills says.




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