Norovirus outbreaks in Nebraska and Colorado, could South Dakota be next?

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - A contagious virus is shutting down schools in neighboring states of Colorado and Nebraska.

Hand washing is key to prevent the spread of Norovirus.

There are no records of norovirus hitting Rapid City yet, but some medical professionals say it could be a matter of time.

With all the upcoming holiday travel, new visitors could be carrying new germs. Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, causes vomiting and diarrhea.

Prevention is key, so what's the best way to prevent the spread?

A doctor at Regional Health Rapid City Hospital said to break out the soap and water and wash your hands.

"Our biggest concern is just the dehydration, especially in people who have other illnesses, diabetes, the elderly, they can become dehydrated quickly so oral hydration is really the key. We, as far as looking for the symptoms, any time someone is sick for more than a week we like to evaluate them as well," said Brook Eide, Emergency Medicine Doctor, Regional Health.

Eide said he recommends not only consuming a lot of water but also salt and glucose to help people recover from norovirus. It typically lasts one to three days and doesn't require medication.