Norovirus, A Common Stomach Bug, Could Spread To Upstate -

Norovirus, A Common Stomach Bug, Could Spread To Upstate

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GREENVILLE, S.C. - Norovirus, a common stomach illness that causes an array of unpleasant symptoms, is already in North Carolina and could spread to South Carolina, a doctor said Thursday.

"It causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pains, even some fever and chills," said Dr. Kurt Harding of Doctors Express in Greenville. "The reason it's so contagious and catching is that people will eat things that are contaminated with it."

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed cases in Henderson, Burke, Alamance and Beaufort counties.

Harding said he has seen patients with stomach ailments recently, but said Norovirus is difficult to diagnose. "We have seen a few cases of some gastroenteritis. We, in the office - we don't typically check to see, 'Is this a Norovirus or is this one of the other viruses that's causing problems?'"

Harding said unlike the Flu or common cold, the virus often spreads through food which is why it's important to keep kitchen counters clean.

Harding said those who contract the virus usually recover within a few days to a couple weeks. There is no vaccine for the virus and it does not respond to antibiotics or antivirals.
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