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Australian Stomach Flu Outbreak-America

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    Posted: June 26 2015 at 8:20am
http://wsls.com/2015/06/24/america-hit-by-new-stomach-bug/

NEW YORK (AP) – A new strain of stomach bug sweeping the globe is taking over in the U.S., health officials say.

Since September, more than 140 outbreaks in the U.S. have been caused by the new Sydney strain of norovirus. It may not be unusually dangerous; some scientists don’t think it is. But it is different, and many people might not be able to fight off its gut-wrenching effects.

Clearly, it’s having an impact. The new strain is making people sick in Japan, Western Europe, and other parts of the world. It was first identified last year in Australia and called the Sydney strain.

In the U.S., it is now accounting for about 60 percent of norovirus outbreaks, according to report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Norovirus – once known as Norwalk virus – is highly contagious and often spreads in places like schools, cruise ships and nursing homes, especially during the winter. Last month, 220 people on the Queen Mary II were stricken during a Caribbean cruise.

Sometimes mistakenly called stomach flu, the virus causes bouts of vomiting and diarrhea for a few days.

Every two or three years, a new strain evolves – the last was in 2009. The Sydney strain’s appearance has coincided with a spike in influenza, perhaps contributing to the perception that this is a particularly bad flu season in the U.S.

Ian Goodfellow, a prominent researcher at England’s University of Cambridge, calls norovirus ‘the Ferrari of viruses’ for the speed at which it passes through a large group of people.

“It can sweep through an environment very, very quickly. You can be feeling quite fine one minute and within several hours suffer continuous vomiting and diarrhea,” he said.

Health officials have grown better at detecting new strains and figuring out which one is the culprit. They now know that norovirus is also the most common cause of food poisoning in the U.S.

It’s spread by infected food handlers who don’t do a good job washing their hands after using the bathroom. But unlike salmonella and other food borne illnesses, norovirus can also spread in the air, through droplets that fly when a sick person vomits.

“It’s a headache” to try to control, said Dr. John Crane, a University of Buffalo infectious disease specialist who had to deal with a norovirus outbreak in a hospital ward a couple of years ago.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 26 2015 at 8:26am
Trying to verify this. This outbreak has been going on for months.
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Courtesy of CNN - subscribe today

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2015 at 7:45am
Information about Norovirus in the United States is a bit scant now, yet I am getting reports from people who may have it or who know others possibly suffering from this bug. We need to track and watch this carefully. Many of the outbreaks were caused by people eating food that has been contaminated by the people handling it to others eating it.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rickster58 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2015 at 2:01pm
I've had it Med, in fact we have all had it over the last 6 months. Gut wrenching cramps - immediately after eating, low grade fever, headaches - it lasts for a week or so.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2015 at 3:49pm
Originally posted by rickster58 rickster58 wrote:

I've had it Med, in fact we have all had it over the last 6 months. Gut wrenching cramps - immediately after eating, low grade fever, headaches - it lasts for a week or so.


That is good to hear for I think someone near and dear to me has it as well. She is on her second week of bad headaches, extreme nausea and vomiting, and any estimate of how long is good news. I honestly think the health care rational on this is if it is fatal, if it can take someone out that is elderly or other wise immune-suppressed, and finally how long people get it.

There is a dark horse here however which I have seen with the  Norovirus and other flus for years.tat is like a bad horror move - "sometimes they come back."  There is a real problem with food poisoning or stomach infection in that some may make themselves at home and go underground. Many people as in the food poisoning in 1993 at Jack in the Box really suffered for years and never really got over it.

Older people who have multiple issues and the babies are the ones sometimes hit the hardest. Also dehydration can be a killer and if you do not drink and do not see your doctor for a bad case of this, you could die.


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