It's been a brutal year when it comes to vomiting/diarrhea illness, especially because of Norovirus. It's spread from Australia to England, where around 1.2 million people have had the new strain called Sydney 2012. We're trying to figure out how it's affecting the numbers of illness in the U.S., but Sydney is now the dominatecirculatingstrain.

Unlike the flu, there's no vaccine for treatment, but there are ways to reduce your risk; however, hand sanitizer is not one of them. Good old soap and water is the key.

KING 5 s Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician at the Everett Clinic and known online as Seattle Mamma Doc, shares information on staying healthy and preventing the spread.

Some facts about Norovirus

  • You can get it from people, contaminated food, or contaminated surfaces
  • It causes over 20 million cases of the stomach flu each year
  • It's most common in winter, but 50 percent uptick in years with a new strain
  • The 2012 new Sydney strain is hitting hard here in U.S.
  • About one-half of food poisoning are from Norovirus

Surviving Stomach Bugs

  • Watch for dehydration --more dangerous for infants and elderly
  • Slow sips of liquids, stay home when ill
  • Wash hands with soap and water --sanitizers may not kill Norovirus
  • Mix 1/2 cup bleach in gallon of water for good cleaner in your home

What Parents Need To Know:

  • Norovirus is common and comes on suddenly
  • Can't prevent it with a vaccine or kill it with antibiotics
  • Norovirus infections usually resolve on their own in 1-2 days
  • WASH HANDS, & don't prepare food for others for 3 days after you've had it
  • Bleach water solution will kill the virus on toys, surfaces, & home


Read Dr. Wendy Sue's blog post on the Norovirus
Dr. Wendy Sue's 7 Truths About the Stomach Flu
An article about the new or novel strain of Norovirus here in the U.S.
Norovirus Information from the CDC

More about Dr. Swanson: Facebook | Twitter:@ | Read Her Blog

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