New Stomach Bug: Norovirus Cited In 140 Outbreaks In U.S. Since September

By iScience Times Staff Reporter on January 24, 2013 5:51 PM EST

stomach bug
The new stomach bug has been cited in more than 140 outbreaks in the U.S. since September according to reports. The new stomach bug has been named “GII 4 Sydney,” which may sound a little more frightening than it actually is. (Photo: flickr.com / katerha)

If you're feeling sick to your stomach -- beware!

There's a new strain of the norovirus stomach bug, and it's been spread all across the globe. Now, it appears that the new strain of the stomach bug is taking over the United States according to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new stomach bug has been cited in more than 140 outbreaks in the U.S. since September according to reports. The new stomach bug has been named "GII 4 Sydney," which may sound a little more frightening than it actually is.

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The new stomach bug strain may not be unusually dangerous.

"Last month, the bug, which causes nausea, forceful vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, accounted for 58 percent of outbreaks of norovirus nationally," reports USA Today.

That means that the new stomach bug isn't exactly the most pleasant experience, but it could be much worse.

Norovirus, which was long known as the Norwalk virus, is a highly contagious virus that often spreads easily in rooms constantly shared by the same people including schools, nursing homes and other congested living spaces. The Norovirus is occasionally mistaken for the stomach flu because of the symptoms that are associated with it.

You can be feeling quite fine one minute and within several hours suffer continuous vomiting and diarrhea," said Ian Goodfellow, a prominent researcher at England's University of Cambridge, in an ABC News report.

Norovirus is most commonly spread by food handlers that don't do a good job of washing their hands while dealing with food after using the restroom. What's made the norovirus especially infectious is that it is airborne. That means that it can also be spread through the air in little droplets when someone infected with the virus vomits.

It's safe to say that if you have stomach flu or norovirus symptoms, you should probably visit a doctor as soon as possible. We recommend using ZocDoc in order to find a doctor that's available. 

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