State health agency cites multiple outbreaks of norovirus

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico public health officials say they’re investigating multiple outbreaks around the state of a highly contagious disease often called the stomach flu.

The New Mexico Department of Health said precautions such as frequent handwashing are advised to prevent norovirus infection. The department noted that hand sanitizer does not work against norovirus.

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

According to the department, it’s important that precautions be taken around the very young, the elderly and those at any age with weakened immune systems because those people are at risk for more serious illness from norovirus infection.

The department said norovirus can spread easily among people and symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.