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If you have a "stomach flu", the chances are that it's actually a noir virus: What you need to know



If you've ever gotten sick from eating something "bad," you may have had a meeting with a nerve virus.

Sometimes referred to as "stomach bugs" or "gastric influenza" – although not related to influenza-norovirus, it is the leading cause of food-borne diseases in the United States, causing between 19 million and 21 million cases of infectious vomiting and diarrhea each year .

Norvous outbreaks can affect everyone, everywhere. Earlier this month, for example, a cruise trip was interrupted after 475 passengers became ill with an infection that spread more easily due to the ship's limitations.

PHOTO: In the window of the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Bowie, Md. There is a sign that advises customers that they will be closed for a general meeting on February 8, 2016 after outbreaks of E. coli and norovirus.Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images, FILE
In the window of the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Bowie, Md., There is a sign that advises customers that they will be closed for a large company meeting on February 8, 2016, after the outbreaks of the Norovirus and E. coli.

What is a Norovirus?

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes gastroenteritis, which is inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It can infect people of all ages and the infection can occur many times because there are many different types of nodules.

People who have an infection may have symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Typically, these symptoms develop within 12 to 48 hours after exposure and disappear within one to three days. However, children, the elderly and people with other illnesses are more susceptible to more severe symptoms, as they are at risk of dehydration from the infection.

Fires may happen all year round, but from November to April are more common.

How Can You Get Norovirus?

Norovirus is transmitted by any kind of contact that causes the virus to enter the mouth. You can take it directly from contact with another person by touching the infected surface and then touching your mouth or eating contaminated food or water. It is often found in places where there are many people, and the most common places of outbreak are health institutions, restaurants and schools or children's centers. Cruise ships account for only 1% of total outbreaks.

PHOTO: Nervousal sufferers may experience symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.Science library with Getty Images
Sufferers of a nodule can experience symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

How To Prevent And Cure Nervousous Infection

If you think you have symptoms of a possible infection, take a break and drink plenty of fluids. Antibiotics can not help because the infection is viral – antibiotics only work on bacterial infections. The most important thing is to avoid contact with other people and to wash your hands frequently.

Also clean the dirty clothes, taking care to handle the contaminated items. Do not prepare food for others and disinfect contaminated surfaces with bleach. You are contagious from the moment you start feeling unwell until the first few days after you recover. If you suspect there is an outbreak in your community, you should also contact your state or local healthcare department.

Dr. Tiffany Truong is a resident internment physician in Houston and a member of ABC News Medical Division.


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