Your mother may have asked you if you had the “urpy flu,” that queasy, uneasy feeling that you’re about to lose your lunch.
Public health officials call it norovirus, a highly contagious illness that causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping and other flu-like symptoms that normally persist for up to three days. And it’s making the rounds as Michiganders suffer through the first flu outbreak of the 2013-2014 winter, television station WWJ in Detroit reports.
It’s a fairly typical occurrence after a long holiday weekend when people have close contact with friends and family in confined spaces.
“It’s not all that surprising that it’s not long after the holiday and after Thanksgiving in when a lot of people crowded around tables and ate longer,” Dr. Matthew Sims, an infectious disease expert at William Beaumont Hospital said.
There’s not much you can do about norovirus but suffer through it. Most people feel better within one to three days.
Just make sure you drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and visit your doctor if the symptoms persist. While hydration is important, watch what you’re drinking. Sugar drinks can make the diarrhea worse, Sims said.
The Centers for Disease Control says the best protections against norovirus are good, old-fashioned hand-washing and general cleanliness.Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States, annually sickening between 19-21 million people and contributing to 56,000-61,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths.