New Jersey Department of Health officials are monitoring a steady increase in U.S. cases of the highly contagious norovirus, a stomach bug that is the leading cause of food-borne illnesses in the United States.
What is norovirus?
Norovirus is the scientific name for the bouts of vomiting and diarrhea that many times will sicken entire households before running its course.
Norovirus is spread a number of ways, including through vomit and feces particles that may remain on a person’s hands or on surfaces during food preparation. It can also come from contaminated water used for irrigation of fruit and vegetable crops.
Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramps usually appear from 24 to 48 hours after exposure. People are contagious from the point they start feeling ill and for up to two weeks.
The best thing to do is to prevent its spread. Wash your hands the right way, for at least 20 seconds under hot, soapy water, taking care to scrub under nails and between your fingers. Also, clean up food preparation surfaces with diluted bleach.
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