Viral stomach illness increasing in Cowboy State

The Wyoming Department of Health says reports of stomach-related illnesses known overall as viral gastroenteritis have been recently increasing in Wyoming. Recent upticks have been reported from the northern part of the state, including Sheridan and Park counties, as well as in southern Wyoming’s Laramie County.

Symptoms include vomiting, nausea, chills, and diarrhea. Department of Health Surveillance Epidemiologist Matt Peterson says, “We are encouraging anyone with these symptoms to stay home from work or school and from social events such as graduation parties and weddings until 48 hours have passed since their last bout of vomiting or diarrhea.”

Commonly described as “stomach flu” or “food poisoning,” gastroenteritis can spread easily when people eat or drink contaminated food and beverages, touch contaminated surfaces or through close contact with someone already sick.

Gastroenteritis can be caused by rotaviruses, noroviruses, adenoviruses, sapoviruses, and astroviruses, along with some bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. Symptoms can last from one to ten days, depending on which virus caused the illness, and go away without causing long-term problems.

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