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The CDC reports that Norovirus has hit the Northeast US the hardest in recent weeks.

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A highly contagious stomach bug, known as norovirus, is currently spreading across the Northeastern United States, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Recent data shows that the region has seen a surge in positive tests for norovirus, with an average rate of 13.9 percent over the past few weeks. This rate has remained consistently above 10 percent since mid-December 2023. While the Northeast is particularly affected, other parts of the country, including the South, Midwest, and West, have also reported increases in positive tests, ranging from 9.5 to 12 percent.

Norovirus is the leading cause of vomiting, diarrhea, and foodborne illnesses in the U.S., according to the CDC. It spreads easily among people of all ages.

The CDC notes that individuals can be infected with norovirus multiple times throughout their lives due to the presence of different strains of the virus. While previous infections may provide some immunity, the duration of this protection remains uncertain.

Outbreaks of norovirus typically occur more frequently during late fall, winter, and early spring. In addition to vomiting and diarrhea, symptoms may include fever, headache, dehydration, and body aches.

To prevent the spread of norovirus, the CDC recommends thorough handwashing with soap and water, regular cleaning and disinfection of surfaces using bleach-based products, and washing clothes with hot water.

Norovirus is responsible for an estimated 19 to 21 million illnesses in the U.S. each year, with the majority occurring between November and April. Approximately 109,000 hospitalizations and 900 deaths are attributed to norovirus annually, with older adults being most vulnerable to severe complications, according to the CDC.

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