Stomach Virus Hits Southwest Georgia, Sickening Hundreds

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By: Kara Duffy
March 29, 2013

Thomasville, GA- It's that time of the year again when the nasty norovirus, also known as the stomach flu, is out in full force and according to health officials, this year, it's hitting hard.

"We're seeing clusters of illness throughout our health district here in Southwest Georgia and the symptoms are nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea," said Remy Hutchins, the Infectious Disease and Health Promotions Coordinator for the Southwest Georgia Public Health District.

The experts say the trouble with norovirus is, there's no real treatment for it, so folks who are sickened by the bug are stuck riding out the symptoms.

"There are no antibiotics or anything that you can take because it's a virus and there is not a vaccine to prevent it, so if someone is ill, they may need to seek health care attention," Hutchins said. "They need to make sure they stay hydrated and get plenty of fluids."

Health officials say people with norovirus usually start to feel better within a day or two. While everyone is susceptible to catching the virus, experts say certain people are even more at risk.

"We're getting information from schools, daycare centers, a few nursing homes, so once again the younger population and older population is consistent with where we are getting reports from," said Hutchins.

Experts say the best way to prevent spreading the highly contagious virus is to wash your hands frequently and stay home if you're sick.

Health officials say if you or someone in your family has had norovirus, it's best to immediately disinfect your entire house with a bleach-based cleaning product.

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