Published on January 30, 2013

Stomach flu spreading in Jacksonville

Reported by: Lorena Inclan, Action News

According to family and sports medicine doctor, Wesley Mills of St. Vincent's Primary Care, not only has he been busy seeing patients with the flu, but he's also seen quite a few people who've contracted norovirus.

"Of the people who've been sick, there has been a nice percentage of those," said Dr. Wesley Mills.

He said the norovirus is highly contagious. It can spread quickly, mostly through contaminated water and food but it can also be passed from person to person.

"It's very easy for people to contract it because it can stay in surfaces for quite a while so it could be on a door knob, it can get on food if someone is handling food," said Dr. Mills.

The most common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and headaches.

Although the virus is not deadly, those infected can easily become dehydrated, which could potentially lead to death.

The good news is, the virus does go away by itself.

"Typically when someone gets it, it's self-limited which means it's going to go away on its own probably between a day to four to five days depending on the person," said Dr. Mills.

According to Dr. Mills you cannot treat the norovirus with antibiotics. The best way to avoid catching it is to maintain good hygiene.