Vomiting Virus Hits 8,500 Children In Germany

By Amir Khan on October 2, 2012 9:22 AM EDT

Norovirus
Transmission electron micrograph of noroviruses (Photo: Creative Commons)

The number of children affected by the vomiting virus in Germany has risen from 4,500 to 8,500, health officials said. The outbreak of norovirus is linked to food from school cafeterias and daycare centers, and has left thousands of kids ill.

German health officials reported the newest cases Saturday, and said they are investigating to figure out the cause of the outbreak. And while most illnesses have resolved in two days without hospitalization, norovirus can be deadly.

Norovirus is the second largest cause of stomach flu deaths in the United States, and is transmitted through contaminated food and water. Norovirus killed 800 people per year between 1999 and 2007 and is the leading cause of the stomach flu in the United States, according to a recent study. Norovirus infects more than 20 million people annually.

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