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Norovirus on the rise in Brazos County

POSTED: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 6:33pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 9:52pm

The flu outbreak has swept the nation and reached epidemic levels this season; it's even caused deaths but that's not the only nasty bug going around.

Locally, doctors are seeing a different virus spreading just as rapidly and it's called the norovirus.

Body aches, nausea and a fever, all symptoms that seemingly point to the flu, right? Well not necessarily. You may actually have the norovirus.

"I see people come in all the time and say, 'I think I have the flu.' So I'll ask them what they're symptoms are because they could be fever, body aches and cough or it could be fever, body aches and vomiting and they're actually very different things," said Dr. Kelly Maedo, owner of Brazos Valley Urgent Care in College Station.

But similar to the flu, the norovirus is quickly making its rounds across the country.

According to the CDC it's responsible for over 50 percent of the outbreaks this year and with no vaccination to prevent the virus, doctors like Don Gehring, are seeing more patients coming in with the illness.

"We've seen many, many people coming in, many each day," said Dr. Gehring, with Scott and White. "The other day I probably saw seven in a row that had it so it's that prevalent and quite severe in our area."

Over at Brazos Valley Urgent Care, Dr. Maedo says she's seeing the same thing partly because the virus has a new strain this year.

"We're seeing a lot more people with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. I saw one first thing this morning and I expect to see a lot more over the next couple of days."

The easiest way to prevent getting the virus is by washing your hands but if you do contract the stomach bug it should only last around three days.

If symptoms persist and you can't keep fluids down, doctors say go ahead and get checked out before you become too dehydrated and wind up in the hospital.

 

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