A very contagious stomach bug is circulating in our area, and the best way to prevent it is to wash your hands thoroughly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus has a 15.4% positivity rate in the Northeast, the highest in the country right now. It hasn’t peaked this high since this time last year.

It’s a common illness, especially for kids, since you need very little of the virus to get sick. Daycare centers and schools are especially susceptible to an outbreak. It makes you feel crummy, with diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and pain or cramps.

Remind your kids of the importance of washing their hands with soap and water; they should sing “Happy Birthday” twice. The alcohol in hand sanitizer is not effective enough to kill the virus. When it comes to food, rinse fruits and veggies, cook shellfish and don’t prepare food for others during and two days after you’re sick, according to the CDC.

Dehydration is a real concern. The best treatment is to rest at home, but if you can’t keep food or liquids down it’s time to see a doctor.

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