Durham dodges norovirus – so far

Dec. 27, 2013 @ 05:08 PM

Norovirus, the intestinal illness that causes vomiting and nausea, has left Durham alone so far, but it’s getting closer.

Durham health officials said there have been no outbreaks of norovirus reported in Durham County this season.

But the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is tracking six cases in Alamance County. Outbreaks also have been reported recently in Henderson, Burke and Beaufort counties.

Norovirus can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramping. Other symptoms can include fever, headache and body aches.

Health officials said the virus can be more serious for young children, older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.

The virus spreads through contact with contaminated surfaces or by eating food or drinking liquids contaminated with the virus.

State health officials say it’s important to wash your hands often with soap and water if you’re in close contact with people who are infected. Hand sanitizers are not effective against the virus, they say.

Symptoms typically last a day or two, but the virus can stay in those who are infected for several days or weeks.

Officials say there are no medications to effectively treat the illness once you’ve got it.