Headaches and stomach cramps after the Thanksgiving meal could be brought on by something more insidious than your extended family member’s awkward political conversation. According to Missoula City-County Health Department Infectious Disease Nurse Pam Whitney norovirus may be spreading around Missoula.

"I have received calls from people in the public and when they describe their symptoms, it sounds like norovirus, especially, when they say they are sick for two to three days and then feel fine," Whitney said. "The means of transmission would be eating food, drinking liquids that are contaminated with the virus or touching surfaces that are contaminated with the virus."

There have been recent norovirus outbreaks in the Flathead Valley and Whitney says the best way to combat the disease is to keep things clean, but that can be a little tricky with norovirus.

"If one person has it and they are preparing food, especially salads and things that aren't cooked, you could see the whole family come down with norovirus," Whitney said. "Bleach based household cleaners are what is recommended to kill noroviurs, not like Lysol, you need bleach-based cleansers."

Whitney says soap and water is better than alcohol based cleansers for killing norovirus on hands. Symptoms of norovirus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping, low-grade fever and headaches.

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