Public health officials in North Carolina are reminding residents about hand washing and other steps to protect themselves after reports of norovirus outbreaks.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that the state Department of Health and Human Services says norovirus cases have been reported in Henderson, Burke, Alamance and Beaufort counties.
Norovirus can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramping. Other symptoms can include fever, headache and body aches. It can be more serious for young children, older adults and people with chronic medical conditions.
DHHS says norovirus spreads through contact with contaminated surfaces or by eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with the virus.
Acting State Health Director Dr. Robin Gary Cummings says soap and water is the best way to wash hands, adding that hand sanitizers aren't effective.