Health & Science

‘I Had to Change my Pajamas 3 Times': Make Sure Norovirus Doesn't Disrupt Your Vacation Plans

Health experts are urging families to be mindful of season-high norovirus cases this February vacation

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While many families are getting away for February vacation this week, experts are urging parents to take precautions as they travel, especially as norovirus cases increase.

Inside Logan Airport Tuesday, there was a frenzy of families getting ready to fly out to their destinations, but what they do not want to come back with is an illness. It is not just COVID that has them concerned. Positive tests for norovirus are also at a season high, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Ricard family made sure their carry-on bag was filled with masks, hand sanitizer and other disinfectants to prepare.

"You can't be too careful in these times," parent Sarah Ricard said.

They are more than familiar with norovirus. All three of the children caught the virus a few months ago when there was an outbreak at their school in Groton.

"I puked 12 times in a row," 7-year-old Colby Ricard said. "And I had to change my pajamas three times."

"You definitely don't want to get it. I was just lying on the floor whining because my stomach hurt so bad," added his older sister, Avery Ricard.

Doctors said norovirus rarely leads to hospitalization, but with COVID and other respiratory illnesses still also present, they are urging those traveling this week to take precautions.

"First, I would still wear a mask on an airplane or if I was traveling by train or a bus. Personal hygiene is also critical," said Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, the chief of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Kuritzkes said some might opt to wear a mask next week as everyone heads back to class. Some schools previously recommended them as students returned from holiday break.

"I think it's possible we will see an increase in upper-respiratory illness overall next week, some of which may be COVID, and I think it's really important we be respectful of people who choose to wear a mask," Kuritzkes said.

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