California norovirus: Winter Vomiting Disease — Is on the Rise in California

Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States, with up to 12 million illnesses each year resulting in up to 71,000 hospitalizations and about 800 deaths, according to the San Mateo County Health System.

Officials at the California Department of Public Health say there has been a sudden increase in norovirus infections.

Health officials have confirmed 32 outbreaks since Oct. 1 — far more than the nine cases reported last year at this time — and officials are warning Californians to wash their hands frequently to guard against infection.

California norovirus

California norovirus

Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting disease, is a highly contagious virus that causes gastroenteritis, an illness that usually involves vomiting and diarrhea.

Symptoms of norovirus include vomiting, diarrhea, fever and body aches. According to the CDC, most people recover within three days.