A new strain of a stomach bug that is quite severe is spreading across the United States. There have been over 140 cases to date this year and it just keeps on spreading. What is this bug and why is it so bad? Every year it is responsible for at least 800 deaths and upwards of 21 million illnesses according to the CDC.
This year's strain is called the new Sydney strain of norovirus and it causes severe vomiting and diarrhea for a few days. Every few years there is a new strain. This year it is compounded in the United States with an unusually severe nationwide sweeping flu bug.
“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.” (abc News)
This bug is sweeping the globe, and cooks and preparers of food world-wide are in the spotlight on this one. Norovirus accounts for most food poisoning. So, it is imperative that all who handle food wash their hands thoroughly. A flow of water and a blow dry is not sufficient at all. Use soap and save a life. Be sure not to touch any dirty surfaces after you wash your hands too. The fact that the virus can also be spread on water droplets in the air when someone vomits accelerates the speed it can spread.
There is no magic cure for this one. The best you can do is tough it out and stay hydrated. One good thing to have a family member get you when you feel this sick is “Pedialyte” or some other electrolyte drink. Drink plenty of water also. Distilled is the purest form of water and can give you a little peace of mind that you are not adding any other bacteria or virus to the already heavy mix this bug throws on a person.
If possible, eat at home, and thoroughly cook your food to prevent catching the bug. If you must be around people, be watchful for others showing symptoms. Leave the room if you can when someone vomits, unless they need your help of course.
Stay well and happy and enjoy a home cooked meal. Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones who sidesteps this one.
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