UPDATE: Norovirus Cases Confirmed in Five Iowa Counties, Including Linn and Polk
If you have been experiencing vomiting, an upset stomach and diarrhea, it may be due to the norovirus.
Eight medium to large outbreaks of norovirus have been reported in five Iowa counties, including Linn and Polk counties.
First off, don't freak out.
Sometimes it seems like the news is trying to scare you when they say an exotic sounding illness has moved to your neighborhood, but don't be scared. Norovirus is not deadly.
Ann Garbey, Deputy State Epidemiologist with the Iowa Department of Public Health, said it will, however, leave you feeling bad.
"It makes people pretty miserable for a couple days," Garbey told Patch in a phone interview.
She would know, too. Beyond being her job, she said her daughter caught it last week, so she has seen the misery first hand.
Her daughter's illness, along with anecdotal reports all across the state tells her that the virus is more widespread than the eight confirmed cases suggest.
So if you are feeling ill, take solace in knowing that you aren't the only one in the condition of being too sick to work and, worse yet, to-ill-to-enjoy-Maury-reruns. It should be over in a couple of days.
But even though it is spreading, there is a silver lining. This isn't the type of illness that is mild to the general public but horrifyingly painful for the elderly and children. However, the virus does cause dehydration, so there is reason be be extra attentive to the young ones.
If you think you have it, make sure to treat it like a cold or flu. Additionally, make sure not to cook for others for two days since you felt better, as it is an easy way to transmit this particular virus.
So, how will you be able to tell if the general under-the-weather feeling you've been experiencing is norovirus?
- Norovirus, unlike influenza, is not a respiratory virus. That means you won't feel some of the symptoms associated with a cold, like sore throat or a runny nose.
- You won't actually know for sure. Make sure to follow her directions above if you feel miserable.