The infamous “stomach flu” is picking up traction in the Casper area. The Natrona County School District says it’s gotten notice from the Casper-Natrona County Health Department that incidents of norovirus infection are increasing county-wide. Norovirus, which causes gastroenteritis, can be food-borne but officials say the virus is more typically spread via dirty hands and surfaces.

It's also known as Norwalk or the "cruise ship disease" but is not the same as influenza, which is a respiratory illness. Gastroenteritis means inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and causes vomiting and diarrhea among other symptoms.

Here are a few facts about viral gastroenteritis from the Wyoming Department of Health:

*It's spread by touching contaminated surfaces or objects, having direct contact with an infected person who has symptoms, or ingesting contaminated food or liquids.

*Symptoms include vomiting and watery diarrhea, and may also include headache, fever, and abdominal cramps.

*Prevention measures include frequent hand-washing, staying home if you are ill, and disinfecting surfaces that may be contaminated.

Here's much more information from the Wyoming Department of Health.

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