Lynchburg, VA - This is exactly what you don't want to hear right before Christmas: Virginia health officials forecast the arrival of the stomach bug just in time for the holiday season.
The Virginia Department of Health says based on information from emergency departments and urgent care centers, an increase in the norovirus is expected over the next few weeks.
Norovirus is commonly referred to as the "stomach flu." It's a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus, causing vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping.
Officials say while it can cause a great deal of discomfort, the illness usually goes away on its own.
Last season, state health officials investigated 184 norovirus outbreaks statewide.