This new norovirus strain is called the Sydney norovirus, and it’s hitting the nation hard. St. Louis County Health Department’s Richard Knaup says we’re starting to see some outbreaks here since the start of the year in long term care and rehab facilities.
“We’ve had four confirmed norovirus outbreaks in varies health care settings around the county, and then we’ve had three of four other outbreaks in health care facilities where the signs and symptoms have been consistent with the norovirus, but from a laboratory standpoint we were not able to prove that.”
St. Louis University Hospital infectious diseases specialist Dr. Nirav Patel says symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pains.
The best protection, Patel says, is to practice good hand hygiene.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the norovirus causes about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths each year, mostly in young children and the elderly.