Colorado health officials are reporting nearly twice as many outbreaks of a gastrointestinal illness as normal for this time of year.
Alicia Cronquist of the Department of Public Health and Environment said Friday that 54 outbreaks of norovirus have been reported since Nov. 1. The average for the previous five years was 33 outbreaks in November and December.
An outbreak is defined as a group of people in the same school, nursing home or other facility who contract an illness. The state doesn't track individual cases of norovirus.
Norovirus symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping.
People can contract the virus by direct contact with an ill person, eating food prepared by an ill person or touching touching a contaminated surface and then placing their hands in their mouths.