LANSING, Mich — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued a warning about the spread of norovirus. A norovirus infection is commonly known as the stomach flu even though it has nothing to do with influenza.
Symptoms include nausea vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, muscle aches, fever, headache and weakness. They usually pass within 72 hours. Young children and the elderly may need to be hospitalized for dehydration. Norovirus does not cause bloody diarrhea or a high fever. People with those symptoms should see a doctor.
Norovirus is highly contagious and can stay on things like doorknobs, toilets, phones and keyboards for a long time. All surfaces should be cleaned with a mixture of 1/3 cup of bleach and 1 gallon of water if someone in your home or workplace comes down with the symptoms. Carpets should be steam cleaned and clothes and linens washed on the hottest setting if they come in contact with an infected person's vomit or feces.
The best way to prevent norovirus contamination is to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds at a time with soap and warm water after using the bathroom and before preparing food. An infected person should not prepare food for at least 3 days after the symptoms pass.
Click the link in this story for more details on norovirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.