CDC: Cases of norovirus on the rise as COVID restrictions relax

As cases of COVID-19 continue to fall across the United States, cases of another virus are on the rise.
The norovirus is one of the viruses responsible for the stomach flu. Health officials say that outbreaks of norovirus have been on the rise this year.
Officials say that part of the reason for the rise is that the public has relaxed much of the behavior and steps that they took to protect themselves from the coronavirus. Those steps also helped to protect the public from other contagious illnesses. Officials say that norovirus is one of the most contagious viruses out there.
“We’re moving into a time period where we aren’t as strict with all these precautions,” says Dr. Sheeba Ben, a pediatrician at Riverside Medical Group in Hoboken.
Ben says that she believes that this is the reason why she is seeing more cases of norovirus in her patients.
“I would say the cases of norovirus definitely doubled,” says Ben. “We are seeing COVID cases down, but it’s good to keep in mind these other cases of infectious disease and other viruses. They are out there.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that outbreaks of norovirus are getting back to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.
“The kids are out more. The mask mandates are removed – especially at schools. Socially people are getting together,” says Ben.
Common symptoms of norovirus are vomiting and diarrhea. Health officials say the best protection against the virus is regular hand washing – especially before eating, disinfecting high-touch surfaces and washing produce since the virus can come from contaminated food.
Parents who aren’t sure if their child is sick with norovirus or something else may want to first consider having them take a COVID test. Adults who have norovirus can usually recover at home. Younger children may get dehydrated, so taking them to the doctor may be warranted.