By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Holidays mean a lot of get-togethers with many people, and some of them may be carrying a bug that is spreading fast.

A norovirus, like the kind that spread like wildfire on cruise ships, is making the rounds, according to Dr. John Russell, head of the Family Medicine Residency program at Abington-Jefferson Health.

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“There is a gastrointestinal virus that is going around, in pods of families, lots and lots of transmission from one family member to another family member,” Russell said.

He says with holiday obligations, many people would rather show up than stay home and be sick.

But Russell says staying home is a good option.

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“It’s not the worst thing if we’re sick to not go to work, to not go to school, to just recover, and then if you’re sick just make sure you are hydrating,” said Russell.

He says the virus is most contagious in the first 12 to 48 hours after symptoms appear, and only lasts a day or two.