Nebraska HHS confirms a dozen reported norovirus cases in 2014 -
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Nebraska HHS confirms a dozen reported norovirus cases in 2014

Norovirus, which causes nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, has sickened numerous Nebraskans in long-term care, indicating the disease passed between humans is likely prevalent in the general public, too.

About a dozen cases have been reported this year in nursing homes and similar facilities across the state, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said this week.

Iowa also has seen the spread of norovirus, said Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, medical director of Iowa’s Public Health Department.

Norovirus sometimes is referred to as “stomach flu,” but it’s not influenza. It also has been called “winter vomiting disease,” although outbreaks can occur any time of the year.

Technically, Dr. Tom Safranek of the Nebraska health department said, it’s norovirus or viral gastroenteritis. It is highly contagious and can be transmitted through handshaking, through contaminated surfaces or objects, and when people who have the illness prepare food.

Safranek said a typical case lasts less than 24 hours. Doctors have anti-nausea medications, he said, but it doesn’t necessarily require a doctor’s attention. Sufferers should drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

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