ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Doctors are issuing a warning about Norovirus spreading in the Tampa Bay area.
Data from the CDC shows this virus appears to be at a 12-month high.
Medical professionals say Norovirus, also known as ‘food poisoning’ or the ‘stomach flu’, is on the rise not only across that nation, but right here in the Tampa Bay area.
“From grandma and grandpa, all the way down to the little guys; it doesn’t pick and choose,” Meghan Martin said. “Everybody is at risk.”
Martin is a pediatric emergency medicine attending at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. She said she’s been seeing an uptick in positive Norovirus tests.
“Definitely in that last 2-3 weeks, we’ve started to see more cases,” Martin explained. “We’ve continued to get busier and busier in the emergency department because there’s so many people out there getting sick.”
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has seen 86 cases of Norovirus since December and 24 cases in March alone.
“I think the biggest concern for Norovirus is dehydration, especially for little kids,” Martin explained. “One of the things we’re looking at is how much are they peeing in 24 hours, are they starting to have decreased urine output.”
“Is their mouth still nice and moist, or is it starting to get to get dry and sticky,” she continued. “Are they getting sleepy?”
Martin said that for infants, if they are producing less tears when they cry (or not producing any at all), then it’s time to get them checked out.