Listen: What is Norovirus?

Jan 13, 2016

Credit Creative Commons

Norovirus is strongly suspected in an outbreak of illness at the Riverside Convention Center over the weekend. Monroe County has yet to positively confirm it, but call it likely the cause.

The disease is common and most Americans will contract a handful of times in their lives.

“This is a germ that’s notorious for causing what people call the stomach flu,” says Doctor Elizabeth Murray, a pediatrician at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Norovirus spread quickly and easily.

Says Murray, “It’s a pretty rugged germ, meaning it can live on a surface. So, if you touch a doorknob after perhaps not washing your hands quite well enough, you can leave the germ behind and another person can contract it that way. Once you are sick with symptoms you start having a lot of throwing up and some diarrhea. And it can come on pretty abruptly.”

The disease is rarely dangerous for people with healthy immune systems. The greatest risk is from dehydration.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have more information on how to prevent and clean up to avoid the spread of Norovirus.