DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - The Norovirus is going around, closing schools and filling up pediatricians' offices.
Because some schools were closed in Muscle Shoals, some people thought the virus was contained in that area, but it's basically all over North Alabama.
Tina J. Weeks is a busy working mom, but she and her husband were like many Muscle Shoals parents who were stopped in their tracks by a mean bug.
"My child actually got sick on Wednesday night. He got home from my mom's after supper, and he started telling me his stomach was hurting," said Weeks.
She says 10-year-old Dalton got worse.
"I knew he didn't feel good because he went to bed early. And then he came downstairs about 10:30, telling me that he threw up. Then he went back to sleep and go up the next morning about 5, same thing - he's going to be sick again," she said.
The following day her son's school, McBride Elementary, contacted parents.
"Thursday afternoon, my husband called and said the school called, that they were closing schools at 1:30, to pick all the children up," she said.
The schools told parents they would also close the following Friday, to give them a chance to disinfect. That's also when she got a name for the outbreak: Norovirus.
Norovirus is the same virus that's been problematic with some cruise ships, but the symptoms are very similar to other stomach viruses.
"It is one of the notorious and wicked bugs that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, ultimately leading to dehydration and even cold like symptoms," said pediatrician, Dr. Me'lissa R. Young-King.
She said when the child is ready to give them fluids and make sure they are urinating regularly. The key is to avoid dehydration.
"Anytime that you don't feel comfortable, that's the time to contact your primary care physician or your pediatrician," she said.
Weeks said her son didn't have diarrhea but did have a fever. After about three days, he was feeling much better.
To protect your child, make sure they don't touch classmates. Periodic hand washing is a must. Also, if one child is sick at home - disinfect surface objects they frequently touch.
These are some simple tips to help your family weather the Norovirus storm.