Double trouble


There is still widespread influenza activity in California, with levels above epidemic thresholds for the seventh straight week, according to county health officials.

Although evidence shows decreased activity on the East Coast and the Southeast where it started this year, the West Coast, including the Eastern Sierra, is still showing high levels of activity.

Another illness stalking the Eastern Sierra is Norovirus, characterized by the sudden onset of stomach cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea. There is no vaccine to prevent it, and no drug to treat it.

A new strain from Australia is causing a higher number of cases this year and the health department is investigating the report of a possible outbreak in Mono County this past week. Norovirus spreads quickly in places like long-term care facilities, day care centers, schools, hotels, restaurants, potlucks, and catered-meal settings. Washing your hands is the best prevention.