Seasonal Stomach Virus Arrives In NYC
Illness from a common infection called norovirus has spiked in New York City in recent weeks, the Health Department reported today. Emergency department visits for vomiting and diarrhea, the most common symptoms, have jumped from 300 visits per day to nearly 500 visits per day since November, prompting health officials to remind all New Yorkers to stay home when they are sick and to wash their hands frequently. Norovirus, commonly known as stomach flu, is a seasonal illness that typically peaks during the winter months, here and across the nation.
Norovirus rarely causes more than a few days of illness. In addition to vomiting and diarrhea, the symptoms may include nausea, stomach cramping, fever, chills, aches and tiredness.
"The best way to stop the spread of norovirus is to wash your hands regularly with soap and stay home from work or school if you are sick," said Dr. Sharon Balter, Director of Enteric Disease for the Health Department's Bureau of Communicable Disease. "Norovirus is common at this time of year and is not serious for most people, but it is important to take these steps to keep others from getting sick."
There are no specific treatments for stomach viruses.