In schools, daycares and cruise ships, a nasty strain of the dreaded norovirus is circling around the U.S. again.
Investigators have confirmed that the "Sydney Strain" is what made 700 people sick aboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise two weeks ago.
But it's not just contained to cruise ships. More and more cases are popping up nationwide. It's common this time of year because more people stay inside due to cold weather.
The virus spreads rapidly, and the easiest way to fight it is quite simple: Wash your hands.
The Center for Disease Control said about 700 were infected on cruise ships and returned early to New Jersey. People aboard said passengers were throwing up. They weren't allowed to touch anything, and many didn't get to enjoy any of the meals.
Then there was another outbreak in Houston last week. There are 21 million cases in the U.S. each year. Seyi Omaivboje is an epidemiologist and investigates outbreaks, like the latest one.
"It's pretty common between usually November and April," she said surprisingly.
The virus spreads quickly, much like the flu, in close quarters. Children and the elderly are the most vulnerable. Symptoms start with intense stomach pain, which develops from there. Some say compared to the flu, it's much worse.
"Nausea, vomiting, and sometimes fever," Omaivobje said.
Those symptoms could last up to five days. In three days, Fred Phillips is going on a cruise. He said he's not concerned.
"I'm 71 years old. I just don't give a **** anymore," he said.
Others agree and said it won't keep them from cruising.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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