CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee -(WDEF) If you've recently been suffering from stomach problems that Pepto Bismo can't relieve, then you're not alone.
Dr. Betsy Close of UT-Erlanger said her office has recently been visited by people complaining about an upset stomach.
"I'd say a couple of weeks ago we started seeing what we suspect is likely the Norovirus," Close said.
Cases Norovirus are sweeping the nation and has those infected running to the bathroom.
"The Norovirus has been on the increase and the symptoms of that are typically sudden onset of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea," Close said.
Unlike catching influenza which is spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes, Norovirus is spread through things that people touch like grocery cart handles, door handles and gas pumps. The virus clings to surfaces when an infected person doesn't wash their hands after using the bathroom. The virus is so hard to kill that it can remain on a hard surface for several weeks unless that surface is washed with bleach.
"Good hand washing is really the key to preventing the spread of Norovirus, especially after using the restroom or before preparing food. It cuts the spread dramatically," Close said.
Doctors say young children and the elderly are at a higher risk of suffering sever cases of Norovirus once dehydration sets so drinking lots of water is vital.