Stomach flu on the rise in California, health officials say

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If you know anyone whose had a case of winter vomiting, they're not alone. Health officials said Norovirus is on the rise in California. (KFSN)

If you know anyone whose had a case of winter vomiting, they're not alone. Health officials said Norovirus is on the rise in California.

Californians are getting hit with Norovirus, making the holiday season an uncomfortable one. "We are seeing the Norovirus here in Fresno County, most commonly seen in larger congregation or close proximity such as day care and nursing facilities," said Norma Sanchez, communicable disease specialist.

Statewide, numbers are on the rise with 32 cases reported. However here in Fresno, we're seeing the lowest numbers in three years with just 10 cases this year. The Norovirus is commonly known as the stomach flu. "Norovirus is a virus that causes inflammation of the intestine, which will cause vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes a low-grade fever. What really gets people is the dehydration," explains Sanchez.

Sanchez said that's why it's so important to get plenty of fluids when you're feeling down.

Washing your hands is the key to preventing the Norovirus, but experts say many of us aren't doing it right. First, you wet your hands. Then wash them with soap for 20 seconds. Then rinse and dry off. Use that paper towel to open doors and protect yourself. Sanchez said people should especially wash their hands before and after preparing food and when changing diapers. She said the virus is highly contagious. "You will have two to three days of symptoms and you will recover. However, you could still be contagious after you're asymptomatic or no symptoms at all. However, viruses are not treatable. There is no antibiotics for it, but you can reduce the symptoms by taking care of yourself."

Overall, they say if you're filling sick to stay home and to always wash your hands. Health experts say hand sanitizers are not effective against the virus.
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