Thursday, January 12, 2012


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

If you’ve been bitten by “the bug”, you’re not alone. People all over are coming down with symptoms ranging from sore throats to non stop vomiting. The question is, is it the flu or Norovirus?

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat and runny or stuffy nose. It is spread mostly through sneezing and coughing so it can be easily passed on, especially at schools where kids are in close contact with each other.

Norovirus is a stomach bug that causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines, causing symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. Unfortunately, there is no treatment or vaccine. It usually takes about 48 hours from it to pass. However, you are still contagious for up to three weeks after that. November through April is the peak season for the virus. Washing your hands often and using hand sanitizer, and not sharing utensils, eating surfaces or food is the best defense. Another good strategy is to get plenty of rest, drink LOTS of water, and take a multi vitamin.

Special note: If you’re sick –STAY HOME! If your kids are sick, don’t send them to school. After being ill, you or your child should stay home at least 24 hours after fever and other symptoms are gone.  If you or your child vomits –STAY HOME! The rest of the world will thank you for it!

* It’s always best to contact your doctor to be sure you haven’t developed a more serious illness rather than the garden variety bug!
For more information on symptoms go to:

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