LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Doctors and clinics are seeing an increase in Norovirus cases in Louisville.

Karen Zabel, a nurse practitioner with Baptist Health Express Care, said she's seen many patients come through the door with the virus just this week. She say they have had a variety of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Staying hydrated is the biggest challenge with the virus, also called the stomach flu.

"The people can end up in the hospital if they get too dehydrated," Zabel said. "It's the dehydration factor that's the most dangerous."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning of an increase in cases this February and March.

The Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It is highly contagious, but you can fight back and prevent the virus from spreading.

“Try to isolate the person that is sick in their home,” Zabel said.

Zabel recommends wiping down surfaces that are touched frequently like door knobs, toilet handles and grocery store carts.

Washing your hands regularly is crucial. It is also recommended to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

The virus can be especially tough on children under age five and seniors.

Zabel says the number of patients will keep going up before there is any relief.

"I expect at least in the next couple weeks, we will be seeing a lot of it," she said.

Baptist Health doctors and clinics are also seeing an increase in influenza cases.   

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