US hit by new stomach bug spreading around globe - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

US hit by new stomach bug spreading around globe

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy: AP GraphicsBank Courtesy: AP GraphicsBank
  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • Carmi woman believed to be found dead rescued from mud

    Carmi woman believed to be found dead rescued from mud

    Sunday, August 31 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-08-31 22:53:04 GMT
    A woman, believed to have been found dead, was rescued after being stuck and covered in mud for 24 hours in Carmi, Illinois.
    A woman, believed to have been found dead, was rescued after being stuck and covered in mud for 24 hours in Carmi, Illinois.
  • Weather not stopping Labor Day weekend plans at Rend Lake

    Weather not stopping Labor Day weekend plans at Rend Lake

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:12 AM EDT2014-09-01 04:12:07 GMT
    The Rend Lake campgrounds and beach we're packed this Labor Day weekend despite several rain showers and an outlook of more rainy weather.
    The Rend Lake campgrounds and beach we're packed this Labor Day weekend despite several rain showers and an outlook of more rainy weather.
  • Everyday Hero: Vince Seyer

    Everyday Hero: Vince Seyer

    Sunday, August 31 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-09-01 03:33:28 GMT
    CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - He may not be headlining a major concert tour, but Vince Seyer shares his vocal stylings all around Cape Girardeau. “It's something as tiring as it can be sometimes. I love it," said Everyday Hero Vince Seyer.Vince was never a performer growing up-, but family and friends kept asking him to sing at church. Though he suffered from stage fright, he found his most receptive audience at nursing homes. “I was afraid," Seyer said. "I had no courage whatsoever. I was afra...
    CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - He may not be headlining a major concert tour, but Vince Seyer shares his vocal stylings all around Cape Girardeau. “It's something as tiring as it can be sometimes. I love it," said Everyday Hero Vince Seyer.Vince was never a performer growing up-, but family and friends kept asking him to sing at church. Though he suffered from stage fright, he found his most receptive audience at nursing homes. “I was afraid," Seyer said. "I had no courage whatsoever. I was afra...

By MIKE STOBBE
AP Medical Writer

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 foodborne 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.

Each year, noroviruses cause an estimated 21 million illnesses and 800 deaths, the CDC says.

For those infected, there's really no medicine. They just have to ride it out for the day or two of severe symptoms, and guard against dehydration, experts said.

The illness even got the attention of comedian Stephen Colbert, who this week tweeted: "Remember, if you're in public and have the winter vomiting bug, be polite and vomit into your elbow."

Click here for more information.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.