As an emergency room doctor at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Frank McGeorge has treated countless cases of norovirus, the stomach virus notorious for canceling cruise ship vacations.

But McGeorge has also suffered the highly contagious illness, which can make patients agonizingly nauseous, he said.

“Norovirus is incredibly distressing to people,” McGeorge said. “And from a medical standpoint, there’s nothing we can do to treat it, except fluids, anti-nausea medicine and time.”

McGeorge and other physicians in Metro Detroit and across the state are dealing with more reports of norovirus outbreaks at nursing homes, restaurants, schools and other public places, health officials say.

Last year, 144 norovirus outbreaks were reported in Michigan — a 323 percent jump from the 34 reported in 2005, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. This year, 41 outbreaks already have been reported, the agency said.

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