Norovirus outbreaks are on the rise in Montana.
Today state health officials said that eight outbreaks of the highly contagious intestinal virus have occurred in the last six weeks. Counties affected include Cascade, Fergus, Flathead, Gallatin, Meagher, Missoula, Silver Bow and Yellowstone.
Norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the U.S. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain. It usually runs its course in 1 to 3 days, but can last longer and be more severe in young children, older people, or people who have other chronic health conditions.
This year’s outbreaks are similar to ones seen in the state in 2016.
Health officials advise those who have symptoms to stay home and avoid contact with others.
More information on preventing the spread of norovirus is available on the state health department website, dphhs.mt.gov.