A new strain of a stomach virus is sweeping the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control, which is tracking this new strain, it causes a ton of misery. The strain was first reported in Australia. The norovirus accounts for more than half of the 266 norovirus outbreaks across the country and in the last four months, the outbreaks are from the new strain.
An infectious disease specialist with DeKalb Medical Center's claim is that the virus is not that serious for an average person, but very annoying. It is a a stomach flu type virus but has nothing to do with influenza. The symptoms are typically a sudden start of a fever that can last one to three days, 24 hours of diarrhea, vomiting and feeling miserable then, you're over it. The main danger is not being able to keep down fluids. If you can't keep the fluids down for more than twelve hours, patients may need an IV.
This disease is very contagious. It not only spreads from person to person but also by touching surfaces contaminated by a sick person with the disease. Outbreaks are most common on cruise ships, in nursing homes and schools. The best prevention for this type of virus is washing your hands with soap and water frequently, wiping down any surfaces with diluted bleach, rinsing fruits and vegetables, cooking shellfish thoroughly, and not preparing food or caring for others while ill.
Georgia, so far has had slightly more cases than this time last year. The disease is being tracked very carefully by the CDC and they are working closely with state health departments to track it. It is too early to tell if the new strain will create any more illness.