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Warning over norovirus in Iowa

26 January 2012 08:55

People suffering stomach bugs are advised to drink plenty of water

People suffering stomach bugs are advised to drink plenty of water

People in Iowa suffering stomach ache and vomiting have been warned to stay at home following an outbreak of norovirus.

The Iowa Department of Public Health said that recent weeks have seen rising numbers of people suffering with the stomach bug.

Britons travelling to the area may want to keep a close eye on further reports of the outbreak, and they should also look into purchasing medical travel insurance before they depart.

Norovirus is highly contagious and can be easily passed on in hotels, restaurants and other busy places. People with the condition suffer sickness and stomach cramps, among other symptoms.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures show that norovirus is behind more than 20 million gastroenteritis every year in the US.

Dr Patricia Quinlisk, the Iowa Department of Public Health medical director, said: "With this virus in our communities and because it is so easy to spread, we need everybody to stay home when they are ill with diarrhoea and vomiting.

"There's no vaccine and no antibiotics for norovirus. It can spread in food, in the air, by shaking hands and by touching things like door knobs that an ill person has touched. So the only way to stop its spread is for those who are ill to stay home."