The Bay County Health Department is warning about an increase in cases of the norovirus both locally, and across the state.
Because of the increase in cases, the Bay County Health Department is recommending people take precautions to stay healthy.
The norovirus is very contagious and is passed through vomit and feces; contamination can reach as far as 40-feet from the source.
Norovirus can also be transmitted through food, person-to-person contact, or by contaminated surfaces.
It causes stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
While outbreaks happen year-long, the Bay County Health Department says about 80 percent occur from November to April.
Illness usually begins 12-48 hours after exposure, and people who are infected are contagious from the moment they start feeling sick, and during the first days after recovery.
Norovirus can still be spread for two weeks or more after recovery, so it’s important to stay home, and avoid public places when sick, according to health officials.