Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.

Just thinking about this makes my stomach hurt.  The last thing anyone wants is a stomach bug where you're living between your bedroom and bathroom in uncomfortable, sickly pain, with painful diarrhea and vomiting.

With COVID-19 basically a norm we live with now, the super contagious Norovirus is back, and it's not fun at all.

Virus infection on stomach
Getty Images/iStockphoto

According to the Gothamist, New York City hospitals have seen patient visits jump 50% purely from vomiting and diarrhea due to the Norovirus.  It's often called the stomach flu or food poisoning, even though it's not related to those at all, and is an intestinal germ that spreads quickly through food and person-to-person contact.  However, according to the Gothamist, this particular virus is so poorly tracked by health officials that it's hard to say how it actually spreads.

Now it's in Massachusetts, so are New Hampshire and Maine next?

According to NBC Boston, we all have changed our behavior because of COVID-19 and the lockdown around the world. That interrupted the natural Norovirus cycle, so now we're more easily susceptible to this infectious, highly contagious virus.

An in depth view of the Norovirus
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The good news, if you can call it that, is the Norovirus isn't abnormal. It's just back, and pretty drastically, while we return to normal life since COVID-19 entered our lives for good.

According to Buzzfeed, this icky bug affects around 20 million of us. That was pre-COVID, so this rapid return isn't unexpected and will mostly likely hit every state as it does every year.  Buzzfeed says the number of reported outbreaks in 2021–2022 were almost 3x that of 2020–2021.  Ouch.

Proper hygiene is the only way to combat it, so you know the drill: wash your hands and then wash them again.  Buzzfeed says between November and April, basically winter, is when the Norovirus hits the hardest.

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