Updated: 12/30/2013 11:13 PM
Created: 12/30/2013 10:53 PM WHEC.com
By: Joangel Concepcion
Have you or a family member spent part of this holiday season sick?
You're not alone. Reports say a vicious stomach virus is affecting millions across the country.
Many people told News10NBC on our Facebook page they've had awful symptoms in recent weeks.
Experts are calling this the "superbug." It's a strain of norovirus, which makes people violently ill. The reason they believe it's spreading so quickly is because there are no symptoms for the first 24 hours.
If you do contract this virus you make experience flu-like symptoms.
Local doctors say it may start with achiness and fatigue and then the virus can get worse, with vicious vomiting and diarrhea.
Just because there are no symptoms at first, experts say you can catch this virus within hours of being exposed. It can be spread quickly and easily from person to person
It's easy to get, but hard to prevent.
A local doctor at Strong Hospital says she has seen an increase in our area. A lot of patients think they have the flu, but then later find out it is this virus.
News10NBC wanted to know what is causing the recent spike.
“It's hard to really know. It could just be colder temperatures, it could be people staying inside and it could just be coming up earlier on the season. In other years we know the norovirus, the one that's pretty notorious that causes about 70,000 hospitalizations on a good year anyway. It's hard to know with this one. Hopefully we can have some more data on this is later in the season,” said Dr. Elizabeth Murray, Pediatric emergency, Strong Hospital.
The only way you can really protect yourself and your children from contracting this virus is very simple. Cover your cough, cover your sneeze, don't drink out of another person's cup, and wash your hands as much as possible.
Experts say there is no quick fix or medicine to help this. In fact, there is a lot of medicine you want to avoid. This is not a time to take something like Imodium or anti-diarrhea medications. You need to wait it out and get it out of your body. It's unpleasant for anyone, but that's why doctors say you need to make sure you are taking the proper steps to protect yourself.