(WWLP) – Covid-19 cases are dropping across the country, allowing public health officials to turn their attention back to some other viruses.

Norovirus outbreaks, also known as the stomach flu are on the rise over the last year. From August 2021 through the beginning of March, the CDC reported 448 norovirus cases.

During the same period one year ago, there were just 78 reported. Public health experts say the relaxation of covid-19 control measures may be contributing to the spike in stomach flu.

Dr. Robert Roose, the Chief Medical Officer at Mercy Medical Center, said while we are seeing a rise, the flu case numbers are about the same as what we would see during a typical flu season.

“Now we’re seeing 30 or so every week so we are seeing cases out there but we’re not seeing anything concerning us in terms of clinical complications. Just the usual flu that we would see,” said Dr. Roose.

Norovirus is highly contagious and spreads from person to person through surfaces. The best way to avoid catching it is good, old-fashioned hygiene. Wash your hands and clean your home’s surfaces regularly.