INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Over the past few weeks, the state and federal governments have been warning about the intense flu season. There is another virus that is hitting hard — the norovirus outbreak.
The norovirus season is late fall through the winter, so Indiana is in the heart of it. Health officials say that a new strain of the virus is worse than others and it is now in Indiana.
The norovirus is "nicknamed the stomach flu" but doctors say it is very different from the flu. The norovirus is a viral infection of the intestinal tract, not of the respiratory tract like the flu. It is spread through eating or drinking contaminated food or drink or by close contact with an infected person. Symptoms of the norovirus are abdominal cramps, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, headache, fatigue and a fever is possible, but it's usually lower than a fever seen with influenza.
Influenza virus has some similar symptoms, but differences include a fever with the flu is 101 degrees or higher, and the flu typically includes muscle aches and a sore throat.
The norovirus cannot be prevented by getting a flu shot. But other preventative steps could help, like frequently washing hands, disinfecting contaminated surfaces and avoid preparing food if you're not feeling well.
A winter storm warning is in effect for most of Central Indiana.
It's very rare that a single person can reach across national, racial, and spiritual borders to bring such hope and healing.
Dispatchers with Indiana State Police say a vehicle left the roadway Thursday night off of Interstate 69.