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What is norovirus? Stomach virus spreads across northeast

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The CDC has reported a significant outbreak of norovirus in the Northeastern United States, with the region experiencing the highest positivity rate for the stomach virus. According to the latest data, the three-week average for positive norovirus tests in the Northeast has surpassed 15%, a notable increase compared to the Southern region’s 10%, the Midwest’s 9%, and the Western region’s 12%.

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Norovirus is known for causing severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, headaches, and body aches. The virus typically manifests symptoms within 12 to 48 hours of exposure and can affect individuals for one to three days. However, the CDC warns that infected persons can continue to spread the virus for several days after recovery, raising concerns about further transmission.

Health officials are particularly concerned about the risk of dehydration caused by norovirus, especially among vulnerable groups such as young children, the elderly, and those with preexisting health conditions. With an estimated 19 to 21 million cases of norovirus occurring annually in the U.S., leading to approximately 900 deaths, 109,000 hospitalizations, and 465,000 emergency room visits, the current outbreak underscores the importance of vigilance and preventive measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.