Highly durable norovirus spreads across country - FOX 13 News

Highly durable norovirus spreads across country

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

In schools, daycaresand cruise ships, a nasty strain of the dreaded norovirus is circling aroundthe U.S. again.

Investigators haveconfirmed that the "Sydney Strain" is what made 700 people sickaboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise two weeks ago.

But it's not justcontained to cruise ships. More and more cases are popping up nationwide. It'scommon this time of year because more people stay inside due to cold weather.

The virus spreadsrapidly, and the easiest way to fight it is quite simple: Wash your hands.

The Center for DiseaseControl said about 700 were infected on cruise ships and returned early to NewJersey. People aboard said passengers were throwing up. They weren't allowed totouch anything, and many didn't get to enjoy any of the meals.

Then there was anotheroutbreak in Houston last week. There are 21 million cases in the U.S. eachyear. Seyi Omaivboje is an epidemiologist and investigates outbreaks, like thelatest one.

"It's prettycommon between usually November and April," she said surprisingly.

The virus spreadsquickly, much like the flu, in close quarters. Children and the elderly are themost vulnerable. Symptoms start with intense stomach pain, which develops fromthere. Some say compared to the flu, it's much worse.

"Nausea, vomiting,and sometimes fever," Omaivobje said.

Those symptoms couldlast up to five days. In three days, Fred Phillips is going on a cruise. Hesaid he's not concerned.

"I'm 71 years old.I just don't give a **** anymore," he said.

Others agree and saidit won't keep them from cruising.

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