Increase in stomach bug noted

Written by Krystal Paco
Published on Jan. 25, 2013

Guam - Since late 2012 there's been an increase in norovirus activity. According to release from the Department of Public Health and Social Services, the "stomach bug" is the most common cause of acute viral gastroenteritis as well as foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States resulting in 21 million illnesses and 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths annually.

The activity in 2012 was first detected in Australia and is spreading around the world causing outbreaks in the U.S., New Zealand, Japan, France, and Great Britain. Norovirus is very contagious and one can have it many times in their life by accidentally getting stool or vomit from infected people in your mouth often through foods or liquids. The virus causes stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Other symptoms include fever, headache, and body aches.

There may be no vaccine to prevent norovirus, but DPHSS encourages all to practice proper hand washing and general cleanliness.