Highly Contagious Norovirus on the Rise Across California

Norovirus — commonly referred to as the "winter vomiting" disease — is on the rise across California, according to health officials. 

Thirty-two cases of the highly contagious norovirus have been reported statewide since Oct. 1. Of those, six were people who live in Marin County – a number that health officials say is unusually high.

Children at the Novato Youth Center also began showing symptoms this month, but, so far, none of those affected in Marin County have required hospitalization.

The illness spreads rapidly, especially in crowded environments like classrooms and nursing homes, officials said, adding that diarrhea and vomiting are common symptoms.

Given that there is enough norovirus in the tip of a pin to infect an estimated 1,000 people, officials stressed that prevention is key.

"The best thing to do is wash your hands," said Dr. Kjartan Armann of the Samaritan Medical Center. 

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