SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Department of Health reports that it’s investigating multiple outbreaks of norovirus, often called the stomach flu, around the state and is recommending that the public take precautions. The department states that the very young, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious illness due to norovirus infection.

KRQE reached out to the Department of Health asking where reports of the norovirus are coming from, but we have not yet been provided an update.

According to a press release from NMDOH, norovirus is highly contagious and has symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Noroviruses reportedly spread easily from person to person and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that noroviruses can be transmitted by those that are infected, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

“With more people vaccinated against COVID-19 and returning to public life, this common illness is making a comeback,” said Department of Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins in a press release. “Unlike COVID-19 however, there is no vaccination to prevent norovirus infection.”

NMDOH says that the best way to prevent the spread of norovirus is to frequently wash your hands and that hand sanitizer does not work against norovirus. Those that are exposed to norovirus typically become sick within 24 to 48 hours and the most common symptoms of norovirus are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping.

Some individuals who are exposed may have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. NMDOH urges those that develop these symptoms to stay home if possible and to contact your healthcare provider before seeking medical care in order prevent the exposure of norovirus to others in the waiting room.

It is recommended that individuals with norovirus symptoms don’t go to work or school until 48 hours after symptoms have completely gone away.