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Another contagious virus spreads across East Texas

TYLER, Texas (KETK) - Virus season isn't over in East Texas. First the flu, now norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug.

This is a group of viruses that affect the stomach and intestines, which cause people to vomit and have nonstop diarrhea. Through those symptoms, the virus particles can quickly spread and stick to clothing, surfaces, and even food. "When you come in contact with those things and then put the food or the food that was prepared on a contaminated surface, or your fingers that you brushed against the tabletop or door knob that was contaminated, you put those in your mouth you can catch the virus," said Philip Pippin, M.D. with UT Health Northeast.

Pippin says because it is a virus, there is no set treatment that kills norovirus. The body, however, automatically fights against viruses. If you're having trouble controlling the symptoms, Pippin suggests to seek medical attention immediately. 

Prevention is almost impossible, but it's important to know that this can outlive hand sanitizer. Thorough hand washing with soap and water is the best route toward preventing it from knocking on your door.

Drinking fluids is crucial if you have the virus. While the body is fighting to get rid of the it, it is also losing fluids. "The most common problem that's really gonna matter medically and is not going to go away in a couple of days is dehydration," said Philip Pippin, M.D. with UT Health Northeast. If you begin experiencing dry mouth and are unable to retain enough fluids in your body to replace what you're losing, doctors say to seek medical care. 

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