The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns Americans about the concerning increase of stomach flu cases across the US in recent weeks.
The highly contagious gastrointestinal disease is caused by norovirus infection and affects both children and adults leading to severe symptoms and even death if not treated.
The CDC said that an increase of about 30 % from last year was noticed between August 2022 and January 8, 2023, in norovirus infections raising health officials' concerns.
Across 14 states, the CDC recorded 225 stomach flu cases; however, agency spokesperson Kate Grusich stressed that the stats are “within the expected range for this time of year.”
Symptoms of the stomach flu include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps sometimes accompanied by fever and headaches. The risks of the symptoms stem from the prolonged period of infection that can lead to extreme dehydration and other complications.
The norovirus spreads easily through unwashed hands and toilets; the germ can resist to some disinfectants, including hand sanitizers, and survive on surfaces for weeks.