The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has identified a rise in norovirus activity in the state recently and is urging Michiganders to take precautions as the virus nears its peak.
Norovirus infection is often described “stomach flu” but it is not related to influenza, a respiratory viral illness that can cause fever, cough, chills, headache, muscle aches, runny nose and sore throat.
Those with the virus can start feeling symptoms as early as 12 hours after exposure or as late as 72 hours. Norovirus causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping and can also cause a low-grade fever, weakness, muscle aches and headaches.
Symptoms can last as a little as a day or up to three days and often can go away without medical treatment. However, the virus can cause severe dehydration in the young and elderly. Those with norovirus should drink lots of liquids.
How can Michiganders take precautions against norovirus?
- Wash your hands. Be sure to use soap and running water, cleaning all areas of the hands for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important to do before food prepping or eating.
- Those with norovirus should not serve food to others for at least three days after their symptoms are gone.
- Disinfect food-prepping surfaces with one-third cup of bleach diluted with one gallon of water. Remember to use bleach in well-ventilated areas.
- Understand that hand sanitizers are ineffective against the virus.
For information about norovirus can be found at CDC.gov/norovirus.