There's another virus going around Dallas-Fort Worth similar to influenza, but there's no vaccine to prevent it.
Patients with norovirus have symptoms similar to the flu, including coughing, fever, nausea, diarrhea and muscle aches. While the symptoms are similar, influenza is a respiratory illness and norovirus affects the digestive system that leads to inflamed stomach and intestines.
"You could be fooled, thinking that you have one and have the other. As far as norovirus goes, there's really not anything we do for it other than supportive treatment, giving IV fluids if necessary," said Dr. Glenn Hardesty, with Arlington Memorial Hospital.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus can be contracted from an infected person, water, food, or by touching contaminated surfaces.
"Anyone can be infected with norovirus and get sick. Also, you can have norovirus illness many times in your life. Norovirus illness can be serious, especially for young children and older adults," the CDC said on their website. "Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes 19-21 million illnesses and contributes to 56,000-71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths."
Norovirus is highly contagious and doctors urge people to take preventative steps to curb the spread of the disease by doing simple things like washing your hands and practicing general cleanliness.