A highly contagious stomach flu is circulating through New York City.
The Health Department has issued a statement reporting that visits to the city's hospital emergency rooms have increased by 19 percent over the past two weeks, to about 400 a day, of people suffering from vomiting and diarrhea.
The stomach flu is caused by a norovirus infection that is prevalent in late fall and winter. Health officials say the good news is that norovirus infections are usually not serious and most people recover within a few days.
A medical epidemiologist at the Health Department, Dr. Sharon Balter, advises thorough hand-washing with soap and warm water, before eating food and after using the bathroom, to avoid being infected with the stomach flu.