2013 Flu vs. Rotavirus, Norovirus: Stomach Flu and Influenza Differences Explained

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The Flu Trends map shows intense flu activity - how does Google know that? Image of Google Maps by VLN

The Flu Trends map shows intense flu activity – Image of Google Maps by VLN

2013: Flu and Norovirus/Rotovirus are Going Around

This flu season has been exceptionally bad – with intense flu activity on Google’s Flu Trends map, and now the stomach virus is also making headlines. Indiana, North Carolina, and Maine, for example, have seen increases in cases of people with norovirus or rotovirus. In Maine, Medomak Valley High School had 41 percent of their students absent on Thursday, January 10, 2013!

Avoid Getting Sick

So what can you do to avoid getting sick from the stomach flu, the common cold, or even the epidemic-level flu that’s going around this year? Wash your hands, and avoid sharing food, utensils, and drinking cups with other people; the stomach virus spreads easily this way. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth without first washing your hands (germs can enter this way), and try not to spend time with anyone who’s in the contagious stages of their illness. Flu season will be over before you know it – and an ounce of prevention will go a long way in 2013.

Resources:

Bangor Daily News. Severe flu and stomach virus hitting Maine hard; some schools seeing 40 percent of student absent. (2013). Accessed January 13, 2013.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.What you should know for the 2012-2013 Influenza Season.  (2013).Accessed January 13, 2013.

FOX59. Health Officials see spike in stomach virus cases as flu epidemic continues. (2013). Accessed January 13, 2013.

WRAL.com. NC sees increase in norovirus outbreaks. (2013). Accessed January 14, 2013.

Mayo Clinic. Viral Gastroenteritis. (2012). Accessed January 13, 2013.

Medline Plus. Viral Gastroenteritis. (2012). Accessed January 13, 2013.

PubMed Health. Common Cold. (2012). Accessed January 13, 2013.

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