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Dealing with a nasty stomach bug? Doctors say norovirus is going around

It comes with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.

HOUSTON — COVID-19 isn’t the only virus going around right now. Doctors are seeing more and more people getting norovirus, which is a very contagious stomach bug.

“It’s certainly going around, I’ll tell you. I didn’t realize we’d have another virus to contend with in the middle of the pandemic, but here we are,” Dr. Robbyn Traylor, a chief medical officer with Next Level Urgent Care, said.

Traylor said norovirus isn’t something you typically get tested for. It comes with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.

Dr. Luis Ostrosky said masks and hand sanitizer don’t offer much protection against noroviruses.

“The quirky thing about it is it is resistant to alcohol-based gels, so you have to wash your hands with soap and water. To clean, we actually recommend cleaning with bleach if someone has this in your household,” Ostrosky, an infectious diseases specialist with UTHealth and Memorial Hermann Hospital, said.

What you can do

If you think you have norovirus, Traylor said the best thing you can do is get tested for COVID-19 because both begin with gastrointestinal symptoms.

If your COVID test is negative, doctors can give you medicine to help deal with symptoms. However, the best cure for norovirus is time. Most people recover within three days.