TUCSON, Ariz.(KGUN) — Summer just arrived and so have stomach bugs in children that spike during this time of year. KGUN 9 caught up with Banner University Medical Center pediatric infectious disease expert Dr. Nathan Price who says a variety of viruses tend to circulate during the summer months and norovirus is at the top of the list.
"It can hit at any age, but the people who are the most fragile with their health tend to do worse with it. For what people call the stomach flu, the most common is norovirus. There are others too but right now there’s increased norovirus going around. It’s the virus you hear that gets on cruise ships and other places sometimes,” Price said.
Dr. Price says the illness can typically last up to three days or more depending on the situation.
While norovirus is not related to the flu it can have similar symptoms, another issue is there’s no medication available to treat it. However, the doctor says staying hydrated is the key to wellness. Norovirus is also highly contagious.
"You tend to have vomiting, diarrhea, you may have fever. The bad news is it's pretty miserable when you have it. You can get sick with it sometimes. If you touch things and touch your mouth it gets into your system. It’s the kind of virus that can survive on surfaces for days and days,” Price said.
Experts say you can prevent norovirus by:
- Washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol
- Avoid sharing food and drinks with others
- Don’t prepare food for others while sick
- Clean surfaces with soap and water
- Be sure to wash your clothing in hot water
“Sometimes kiddos have a hard time keeping up with hydration, so they have to come to the hospital to get extra help and sometimes we give them IV fluids,” Price said.
For more detailed information on norovirus visit cdc.gov/norovirus.
Shawndrea Thomas is an anchor and investigative reporter for KGUN 9. Shawndrea is living her dream as a journalist who’s passionate about making a difference. Share your story ideas and important issues with Shawndrea by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.