A very contagious stomach bug is spreading at alarming rates in the Hudson Valley.

Reports on social media stated there has been a "Norovirus outbreak" at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed to Hudson Valley Post they are dealing with related issued but added it shouldn't be characterized "as an outbreak and it has not been confirmed as a norovirus."

John R. Nelson the Director, Public and Community Affairs for Vassar Brothers Medical Center did confirm they've seen a recent increase of patients with cases of gastroenteritis.

"There has been an uptick of gastroenteritis cases coming into Vassar Brothers Medical Center, primarily through the Emergency Department," Nelson said in an email to Hudson Valley Post. "We are following all recommended infection control steps and, as always, putting the safety of our patients above all else."

The New York State Department of Health is working with the hospital regarding what the Department of health called "an outbreak of gastrointestinal."

“The New York State Department of Health has been in contact with Vassar Brothers Medical Center regarding an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness at the facility . We will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide technical assistance and guidance as needed," New York State Department of Health Public Information Officer Jeffrey Hammond told Hudson Valley Post.

Many different viruses can cause gastroenteritis, including rotaviruses, noroviruses, adenoviruses, sapoviruses, and astroviruses, according to health officials. The infection typically causes vomiting and diarrhea.

The New York State Department of Health recommends taking the following steps to reduce the risk of acquiring or spreading the infection:

  • Wash hands thoroughly after each toilet visit and before and after preparing food.
  • People who experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea should not attend school or work and should not handle food for others while ill.
  • Avoid drinking untreated water.
  • Cook shellfish thoroughly before eating

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