New strain of stomach flu makes debut

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The regular flu has had most of us sniffling and achy, but now another bug is making way to make you sick.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a new strain of norovirus or more commonly known as "stomach flu" has made its way to the U.S.

The virus is associated with several nasty symptoms including nausea and vomiting.

Doctor Shane Speights with St. Bernards Medical Center said although it can have similar symptoms, the sickness is not the same.

"This is really separate from influenza. Usually we'll see this in the winter months or so you may see several types of viruses that are circulating," said Dr. Speights.

The CDC issued a warning earlier today cautioning healthcare workers to be aware of increased norovirus activity and also mentioned who they are associating the virus with the most.

"The biggest concerns are going to be the extremes of age. Kids are going to have a harder time with it as well as the elderly," Dr. Speights said.

Unfortunately, the cure for this type of sickness is waiting it out. Dr. Speights said that the norovirus is not receptive to antibiotics or medications. Staying hydrated is the only thing to keep it from getting worse.

"Parents will want to use Powerade or Gatorade and those weren't formulated for children. Stick to something that really works for children, water or maybe a Pedialyte," Dr. Speights said.

The Norovirus is not airborne but can spread from human touch back and forth. Symptoms include throwing up, stomach pains and diarrhea.

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