Cases of a highly contagious stomach bug are still surging across the country and Central Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. — The CDC reports it’s normal to see an increase of the norovirus in the winter, but infections continue to tick upwards as we head into spring and summer.


“It causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea,” Dr. Timothy Hendrix, the Medical Director for AdventHealth Centra Care Urgent Care, said. “We typically see it in the wintertime. But this outbreak seems to be lasting into the spring.”

According to the latest data from laboratories across the country reporting to the CDC, the rate of norovirus tests returning positive, averaged over three weeks, was nearly 14% as of April 11th.

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“People are coming in with those very similar symptoms to urgent care for several weeks now,” Dr. Hendrix said.

That is up from about 9% in mid-January.

Dr. Hendrix said it’s hard to pinpoint precisely why the number of infections continues to rise.

“It is a very infectious agent,” he said. “Once it starts spreading, it’ll go for several weeks.”

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The virus most commonly spreads within families, schools, and cruise ships.

“Norovirus is so contagious,” Dr. Hendrix said. “It stays on surfaces; it’s transmitted easily from person to person.”

Symptoms typically last for 24 to 72 hours.

Dr. Hendrix said if you are sick or want to avoid getting sick, it’s back to the basics.

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“Handwashing, staying home if you’re sick, and avoiding contact with people if you’re sick,” he said.

Since it is a virus, there is no real treatment. Dr. Hendrix recommends patients to drink plenty of water and to get plenty of rest.

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