Norovirus cases are up. Should travelers worry?

What is Norovirus? This video will provide a helpful overview of what you need to know.

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With norovirus cases on the upswing, some travelers may be rethinking their plans. But there’s no need to worry more than usual.

Norovirus cases have risen throughout the U.S. recently, but the numbers are not unusual, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“The most recent CDC data collected from the NoroSTAT program and the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System show that reported norovirus outbreaks and reported cases from both state health departments and clinical laboratories are increasing, but remain within the expected range for this time of year,” a CDC spokesperson told USA TODAY in an email.

The U.S. had a three-week average positivity rate of 16.7% as of late February, according to National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System data on the agency’s website, up from 14.6% about a year earlier.

Should travelers be worried about catching norovirus?

Lopman said that “every winter, COVID years aside,” there is a surge in norovirus cases.

Traveling – particularly internationally – puts people at increased risk of contracting illnesses like norovirus, however, due in part to changes in behavior.

“We interact with different people and more people and eat different foods,” Lopman said. “And also, we’re potentially exposed to pathogens, bacteria, viruses that are not so common often in our home countries.”


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