Norovirus, stomach viruses on the rise heading into Thanksgiving

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) — It’s probably the last thing most people want to think about or hear as they plan family get-togethers for Thanksgiving.

But ’tis the season for illnesses, and right now that includes the stomach bug. And in some cases, it may be Norovirus.

Doctors are seeing an increase, and so are daycares.

It’s a fact of life when it comes to kids . They share everything from laughter to toys to, yes, those germs, too.

Kids, parents and even teachers are now suddenly falling victim to stomach viruses.

“It kind of wiped out the center the last two weeks. Some a little worse than others, but everybody got a touch of it some way or the other,” says Nichole Moua, teacher at Encompass Early Education and Care in Green Bay.

Doctors at Prevea Health say they’re seeing a slight increase in cases of some sort of bug, which they say may include Nororvirus.

“There are other viruses, yes. Norovirus is exceedingly common, though. As I mentioned, as much as 20 million people are estimated by the Centers for Disease Control to actually be infected with Norovirus every year, which is quite impressive,” says Dr. Edward Morales, Prevea Health infectious diseases specialist.

Dr. Morales says there’s no way to know for sure exactly what and how many viruses are going around, because most people treat themselves at home.

But with Thanksgiving and family get-togethers just days away, he urges people to consider exposure times before heading to Grandma’s house.

“Bad diarrhea, nausea, projective vomiting… in the cases of Norovirus, that usually happens within 12 to 48 hours of exposure,” explains Dr. Morales.

He says people with normal immune systems are usually fine after about 72 hours.

In the meantime, it’s all about sanitizing and good hand washing, just as the daycares do.

“Tables get washed every day. Multiple times a day they get washed with soap and water, and then we have a sanitizer that we also use on the tables that we eat at, and then also changing tables in the younger classrooms,” says Moua.

The viruses are hitting people of all ages, but doctors say it is the very young and elderly to be most concerned about because of dehydration.

For more information about Norovirus from the CDC, click here.