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Submitted by Cacky Catlett on Wed, 02/01/2012 - 8:07pm.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina public health officials are advising people how to avoid the norovirus after several counties reported outbreaks of the illness last month. The state Department of Health and Human Services said symptoms of the common gastrointestinal illness include vomiting and diarrhea. State epidemiologist Dr. Megan Davies says the most effective protection against the illness is to wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. She says hand sanitizers aren't as effective against the easily transmitted norovirus. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping. Some may have fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and a general sense of fatigue. The symptoms can begin suddenly. In most people, the illness lasts for about one or two days. (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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