LANSING, MICH. — State health officials are asking residents to be aware of the spread of the potentially dangerous norovirus as Michigan is seeing an uptick in cases.
In a press release issued Monday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services warned residents about increased reporting of norovirus cases and what to be on the lookout for if they or someone they know starts to feel ill.
“Norovirus often causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping, but infected people may also have a low-grade fever, headache, weakness and muscle aches,” reads a portion of the release. “Symptoms can begin as early as 12 hours after exposure to the virus or as late as 72 hours.”
While the symptoms can often feel the same as the onset of the flu, they are two different things.
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that can spread very easily, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It causes gastroenteritis, which causes inflammation of a person’s stomach and intestines.
Some people might refer to norovirus as the “stomach flu,” but the flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus.
Norovirus symptoms typically last for one to three days and often go away without medical attention being necessary. However, the elderly, young children and those with weakened immune systems are at risk for possible hospitalization due to dehydration.
If you believe you have norovirus or have been diagnosed, you’re encouraged to drink plenty of liquids.
To prevent contracting the virus, you’re encouraged to frequently wash your hands thoroughly. especially after you’ve been in public places as the virus can remain on objects such as door handles, telephones and counters for extended periods of time.
For more information about the disease, visit the Center for Disease Control website.