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US Norovirus Surge: CDC Highlights Spike in Northeast Cases

Norovirus Cases Surge US Northeast CDC Report

Recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows an increase in norovirus cases in the US, aligning with seasonal patterns.

According to CDC data, in the week ending February 17, over 12% of tests for norovirus were positive. Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that leads to gastrointestinal symptoms. That percentage increased from 11.5% the previous week. In the Northeast, cases are especially high, with over 13% of tests showing positive results. The positivity rates in the region have exceeded 13% since late January.

Nevertheless, the current levels are lower compared to last season, with around 15% of tests being positive, both nationally and in the Northeast.

Norovirus outbreaks are most frequently seen during the late fall, winter, and early spring, as per the CDC.

According to the CDC, Norovirus is the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis, commonly known as a stomach bug, in the United States. Every year, between 19 million and 21 million illnesses are caused by this, typically in crowded settings like nursing homes, day care centers, and cruise ships.

The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or liquids, or touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth. According to the CDC, a person who is infected can continue to spread norovirus even after their symptoms have gone away for two weeks or more.

Common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. There is no specific cure for norovirus, but it is advised to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. To avoid getting sick, the CDC suggests washing hands, rinsing fruits and vegetables, and cooking shellfish properly.

An advisory was released by the US Food and Drug Administration in January cautioning against the purchase and consumption of specific oysters from Baja California and Mexico because of possible norovirus contamination.

In December, over 200 suspected cases of norovirus were associated with a sushi restaurant in North Carolina.


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