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.