Increase of norovirus reported in Genesee County

The Genesee County Health Department is reporting an uptick in norovirus cases. (MGN)

GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. -- The Genesee County Health Department warns a sickness is spreading, but we're not talking about the flu.

It's called norovirus.

Doctors at Hurley Medical Center say norovirus is highly contagious, and the best way to prevent getting it is by washing your hands with soap and water.

"It's extremely contagious, it can be transmitted through vomiting, being in contact with the vomiting, secretions from coughing," said Dr. Dominic Borgialli, who works in the emergency room at Hurley Medical Center.

He says vomiting caused by norovirus can lead to dehydration.

"That's really the main problem with that virus, that people will get dehydrated and often require hospital admission for dehydration if they can't keep up on their fluid intake," described Borgialli.

Children and the elderly are most at risk of dehydration.

Doctors say norovirus can quickly spread at schools or day cares.

"If your child is sick you want to make sure they don't go to daycare to spread it to other children," explained Borgialli.

Norovirus cases typically increase this time of year, but it's not related to the flu.

Doctor Borgialli says not all cleaning products kill norovirus.

"We also recommend cleaning surfaces and diaper changing areas with a solution of bleach and water, because normal cleaning solutions don't often kill this virus," said Borgialli.

Hand sanitizer works to kill many viruses including the flu, but doctors say it won't do you any good against norovirus which is why they recommend washing your hands.

Read the full statement from the health department below:

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