While there are only scattered reports of influenza across the Husker State this winter, plenty of people are getting sick with another bug.
Deb Scholten, director of the Northeast Nebraska Health Department in Wayne, says she’s seeing numerous reports of people coming down with norovirus.
“There isn’t any way you can prevent that,” Scholten says. “It’s highly contagious as most family members know, if you’ve had somebody come down with norovirus. When we talk about norovirus, we’re talking about the stomach flu, which actually isn’t an influenza but we’ve always called it that.”
Scholten says if you catch it, you will feel pretty sick for 24 to 48 hours, likely with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
She says, “The important thing is, even when you are done having the symptoms, you should probably wait at least 24 hours because your body still might be shedding some of that virus and you can still pass it on to other people.”
Scholten says there is no shot or antibiotic to treat norovirus. If you or your kids are sick, she recommends a simple course of action.
“Stay home,” she says. “It’s sometimes a hard call because kids love to wake up in the morning and say they have a tummy ache so they don’t have to go to school, but if there’s norovirus around, you may want to do a little extra listening, especially if they have the symptoms.”
She says the virus can be transmitted through the air or by direct contact.
Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton