WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) – The CDC reports Norovirus reaches peak season between December and March; while it's too early to compare to last year, officials at the Clinics of North Texas share what they're seeing.
Clinics of North Texas pediatric physician Jen Cabler said she and her colleagues see patients with symptoms similar to Norovirus as many as a few a day.
Some cases are diagnosed as Norovirus, and Cabler said the difficulty in diagnosing it is people often aren't tested and just wait to get over it. since Norovirus symptoms often resemble illnesses like food poisoning, fever and others.
It's time for Anna Calabrese's granddaughter's biennial appointment. So far this year, Calabrese's family has stayed healthy with a few exceptions.
"Just your typical sinus problems, weather changing, but nothing major," Calabrese said.
Calabrese said neither she nor any other of her grandchildren have gotten sick from Norovirus and for good reason.
"We're very careful about, when they come home from school, washing hands and all those precautions," Calabrese said.
"The way it's spread is fecal-oral, meaning you would have to somehow come in contact with infected poop," Cabler said.
From infants touching their diapers to adults not washing their hands, Cabler pointed out Norovirus knows no age limit. Often called the stomach flu, Cabler said Norovirus has nothing to do with the common flu. Although it's symptoms are detectable, Norovirus itself isn't that identifiable.
"There's Campylobacter, Coronavirus, E. coli can sometimes look like this," Cabler said. "There's just a lot of viruses that cause infectious gastroenteritis that look all the same. You would never know unless you tested."
Despite test results coming back rather quickly after being submitted, Cabler explained those who show symptoms usually forego seeing a doctor and ride out the symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
Cabler's two best pieces of advice: wash and sanitize hands and surfaces. Cabler recommends seeing a doctor if someone can't keep anything down, don't urinate three times within 24 hours or your symptoms worsen or persist three to five days.
Also, while recovering, Cabler said someone with Norovirus may eat whatever they want, keeping health in mind. The BRAT or bread, rice, apples, toast only diet has been disproven. Make sure to stay hydrated as well.