2013 Flu vs. Rotavirus, Norovirus: Stomach Flu and Influenza Differences Explained

The Flu Trends map shows intense flu activity - how does Google know that? Image of Google Maps by VLN

The Flu Trends map shows intense flu activity – Image of Google Maps by VLN

2013: Flu and Norovirus/Rotovirus are Going Around

This flu season has been exceptionally bad – with intense flu activity on Google’s Flu Trends map, and now the stomach virus is also making headlines. Indiana, North Carolina, and Maine, for example, have seen increases in cases of people with norovirus or rotovirus. In Maine, Medomak Valley High School had 41 percent of their students absent on Thursday, January 10, 2013!

Avoid Getting Sick

So what can you do to avoid getting sick from the stomach flu, the common cold, or even the epidemic-level flu that’s going around this year? Wash your hands, and avoid sharing food, utensils, and drinking cups with other people; the stomach virus spreads easily this way. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth without first washing your hands (germs can enter this way), and try not to spend time with anyone who’s in the contagious stages of their illness. Flu season will be over before you know it – and an ounce of prevention will go a long way in 2013.


Bangor Daily News. Severe flu and stomach virus hitting Maine hard; some schools seeing 40 percent of student absent. (2013). Accessed January 13, 2013.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.What you should know for the 2012-2013 Influenza Season.  (2013).Accessed January 13, 2013.

FOX59. Health Officials see spike in stomach virus cases as flu epidemic continues. (2013). Accessed January 13, 2013.

WRAL.com. NC sees increase in norovirus outbreaks. (2013). Accessed January 14, 2013.

Mayo Clinic. Viral Gastroenteritis. (2012). Accessed January 13, 2013.

Medline Plus. Viral Gastroenteritis. (2012). Accessed January 13, 2013.

PubMed Health. Common Cold. (2012). Accessed January 13, 2013.

© Copyright 2013 Janelle Vaesa, MPH, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Science
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  1. Katie says

    Can we please encourage law makers to require people who are sick to stay home? And if they come in to work they have to be sent home by law? I think we also need to encourage kids in school to wash their hands. There should be required hand washing for everyone in the schools! If the virus can be contracted from vomit and feces particles than it may not be as contagious as websites claim. People just need to properly wash their hands. Also there needs to be more rules set in place that keeps kids home when they are sick. A parent should not bring their kid to daycare if they are showing signs of a virus or flu. That is not fair to the rest of the kids. Some people may have severe complications from stomach viruses and flus. A family member of mine once got a stomach virus and it caused them to have there small intensities collapses into the larger one. They almost died. I hate reading how it is a minor inconvenience to have. It is not and we need to take steps in order to prevent this nasty stomach virus from spreading so rapidly. Daycares, nursing homes and school need to have stricter policies in place that prevent outbreaks. It really shows alot about a a person when they don’t wasn’t their hands. Nurses In hospitals and people handling food need to be fired or fined for improper hand washing or not cleaning properly! It’s time to start educating the general public on these issues! I find it disgusting that flus and stomach virus’s hit epidemic levels! Sometimes i people catch it yeah I understand this but it really goes to show you how many people are not washing properly or staying home when they are sick! I would like to make it one of my life missions to educate people on proper hand washing and I really believe we need to find a way to stop these outbreaks !

    • John says

      Yes Katie, tyranny is the only answer. Lets criminalize being sick. I can tell you from experience that with the right medicines, you can hide almost all symptoms of the flu and you would never know… are you going to head up the witch hunt? Are you going to mandate that everyone going to work pass through a police checkpoint and get their temperature taken? Should we arrest those who did not stay home and send them to “Wellness camps”? What kind of tyranny would you impose upon your fellow man… and what’s worse, who will use those new laws to do evil, because I guarantee you that those who seek power are never good people… they are evil and will use your consent to create new concentration camps “for the good of the people”.

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