OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Friday, the Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) reported five outbreaks of norovirus, “often wrongly referred to as ‘the stomach flu,’” at long-term care facilities and daycares, and said cases have almost doubled compared to last year.
The department said the county has seen 82 norovirus cases this year compared to 45 cases at the same time last year.
“While norovirus is rarely fatal, it can be extremely hard on the very young and the elderly,” Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said. “Dehydration is one of the big concerns.”
- Violent vomiting and diarrhea
- Stomach pain
- Often with a rapid onset
- Body aches may accompany the disease which usually appears 12 to 36 hours after exposure to the virus
The DCHD said ways to prevent contracting the “far-too-common illness” include washing your hands with soap and water — especially when handling food and when changing diapers or using a restroom.
If you are sick the department said you should avoid preparing food for others, wash laundry thoroughly and clean and sanitize surfaces that may be contaminated. People who are sick should stay home for two days after symptoms appear.
In general, people who contract norovirus should recover in two or three days.