What’s Going Around: Norovirus, flu-like illnesses

SAUK CITY (WKOW) — Influenza and flu-like illnesses continue to be a problem across Wisconsin. Sauk County is seeing that, but also Norovirus.

The Sauk County Health Department says schools in the county reported high rates of absenteeism about two weeks ago. Normally, a school might have a 3-5% absentee rate. It was as high as 17% at one point.

The health department says when the rate gets to 20-25%, it would consider closing schools because of a public health concern. While it didn’t get that bad, the health department was keeping a close eye on student illness.

Meanwhile, a Sauk City doctor, Dr. Maribeth Baker with Prairie Clinic, says she’s also seeing Norovirus along with influenza.

Norovirus is a highly contagious intestinal illness that causes vomiting and diarrhea. To prevent the spread, wash your hands a lot. Dr. Baker says that’s more effective than using hand sanitizer.

To manage vomiting, she suggests sipping small amounts of Pedialyte or reconstituted oral rehydration salts. She says don’t drink full strength athlete beverages because it may make your diarrhea worse. Probiotics can also help.

If your diarrhea lasts longer than a week or you can’t stay hydrated, Dr. Baker says consider seeing a doctor.

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