Norovirus continues to spread through area
BATON ROUGE- Doctor Lee Montgomery's office in Baton Rouge has been bustling with patients the last few weeks.
Most patients were suffering from the norovirus, otherwise known as the stomach flu.
"It has nothing to do with influenza. They call it the stomach flu because it makes them just as miserable as the flu," explains Dr. Montgomery. "Fortunately none of ours have had to be hospitalized yet. We've been able to intervene."
Constant diarrhea, throwing up, and stomach pain are a few of the symptoms. It's something Elsa Valencia and her classmate, Jessica Mason, have seen more and more.
"People in general... I've noticed are getting more sick," said Valencia.
"I was sick about two or three weeks ago. I think with the weather change in Louisiana it makes it worse too," adds Mason.
Dr. Montgomery said the drop in temperatures helps the illness spread.
"When the weather gets cold, people spend more time indoors and in psychical contact with one another," said Montgomery.
The best way to stay away from it is to do what your mother's been telling you for years: wash your hands. If you decide to go to the doctor, remember there really aren't any tests to determine if you have the virus. Doctors should be able to tell from your symptoms.
"I hate to say this but in 2013 we don't have a cure for this. We can treat the symptoms, but our number one treatment is hydration," Montgomery said.
According to the CDC, around 800 people die from the stomach flu nation wide, each year.