Spring in Arizona is exciting for many reasons. We look forward to warmer weather, beautiful desert blooms, and cactus league baseball. Spring also signals the transition to our norovirus season… which infects about 21 million Americans including hundreds of thousands of Arizonans.
Norovirus inflames the stomach and intestines and causes 24-48 hours of very unpleasant vomiting and diarrhea. It’s very contagious and spreads from person to person via food, water, or surfaces with microscopic particles of feces or vomit. Good hygiene is the only way to prevent the spread. If you come down with “the stomach flu”, avoid preparing food for other people, clean your kitchen and bathroom with properly diluted bleach-based cleaners, and wash your hands with soap and water often. Many alcohol-based hand sanitizers aren’t effective against norovirus.
Norovirus can be particularly troublesome in settings like nursing homes. Here’s a fact sheet with tips for preventing norovirus in Healthcare Facilities Fact Sheet and other Healthcare Settings. For more information about norovirus visit our norovirus website. To report an outbreak please contact your county health department.
We have these symptoms going around in our family ages 8 months to 6 years old. I have 2 questions. Once you get the virus can you get it right away again? My kids have been vomiting for 24-48’hours and then they seem to improve and then vomited again. Are we reinfecting ourselves?
The main symptoms of norovirus are vomiting, watery diarrhea, and stomach cramps. There are many other diseases that cause the same symptoms. The only way to tell for sure what disease you have is to get stool tested at a laboratory. People can catch norovirus more than one time, so it is possible that after your children improve, they are catching it again. With such a short time between illnesses, however, it may be that your children are simply not yet fully recovered from the infection. It may also be that they picked up a different disease.
To prevent spreading norovirus in your home, wash hands with soap and water. Also, disinfect surfaces using cleansers known to be effective against norovirus, such as a solution made with bleach and water. You can find more details on our website. See your healthcare provider to get diagnosis and treatment for diarrheal illnesses. Contact your county health department for more information. Thank you.