Stomach bug that causes violent diarrhea continues to slam the Northeastern US – with one in SIX tests coming back positive

Photo of author
Written By Rivera Claudia

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur pulvinar ligula augue quis venenatis. 

com com com com com com com
  • The latest CDC data shows norovirus cases surging across the country 
  • Cases are increasing most in the north east and the south as of this month 
  • READ MORE: Feel like everyone’s getting sick lately? CDC maps reveal hotspots 

A stomach bug that causes violent diarrhea and vomiting is still surging throughout the country, particularly the northeast, health officials have announced. 

The latest CDC data update shows that 16.5 percent of tests given to hospitalized patients in the northeast came back positive for norovirus at the beginning of March – nearly a three percent increase from a month earlier. 

This is up from just four percent in November, when the outbreak started.

Cases are also rising throughout the rest of the US, with 15 percent of swabs now detecting the virus compared to nine percent in November. 

Dr Darin Detwiler, a former FDA and USDA food safety advisor told DailyMail.com that norovirus ‘imposes a significant public health and economic burden on the country.’ 

Norovirus is the most common foodborne illness in the US, affecting about 21 million people every year

Norovirus is the most common foodborne illness in the US, affecting about 21 million people every year

‘The high contagiousness can lead to widespread outbreaks, affecting schools, healthcare facilities, and food service establishments.’

‘This results in increased healthcare costs, lost productivity, and in severe cases, hospitalizations and deaths, particularly among vulnerable populations such as the elderly and young children.’

Positive tests are going up fastest in the South, surging by nearly 10 percent in just four months.

Norovirus sickens about 21 million Americans – six percent of the population – every year. Of these, roughly 109,000 are hospitalized, and 900 die. 

Cases normally peak around February and March, alongside other ailments, because people are forced to spend more time indoors by cold weather.

CDC’s latest data, which was updated March 7, showed that the test positivity rate – the proportion of swabs done in hospitals that come back positive for the virus – was 16.5 percent the week of March 2 in the northeast. 

One month earlier, the rate was 13.8 percent. 

Cases are rising in other regions as well. In the south, 12.6 percent of tests have come back positive as of March 2, up from nine percent a month earlier. At the start of the outbreak in November, the positivity rate was just four percent.

Last month, Fairhope West Elementary School in Alabama had to shut down after nearly 800 children and half the school’s staff called in sick with a mysterious stomach bug. 

This graph from the CDC shows how cases have jumped to 16.5 percent in recent weeks

This graph from the CDC shows how cases have jumped to 16.5 percent in recent weeks

Fairhope West Elementary (pictured) closed for a few days last month for deep cleaning as officials attempt to get on top of the outbreak

Fairhope West Elementary (pictured) closed for a few days last month for deep cleaning as officials attempt to get on top of the outbreak

State officials said they were investigating the outbreak but believe it is most likely caused by norovirus. 

A nearby school, Fairhope East Elementary, has also said it is recording a surge in norovirus cases — with the principal saying she is ‘monitoring the situation’. 

Diego Moreno, whose son goes to Fairhope West Elementary which goes up to sixth grade — or 12 years old — told reporters he had to take his son to the hospital.

‘Yesterday, our son have a vomiting during four or five times in the night, all the night.

‘And today, we are going to the hospital — and they told for us that a lot of kids is sick right now.’

Philis Spencer, whose grandchildren are at the school, also told reporters: ‘[This is] very alarming, very alarming.

‘I’ve never experienced this in all the years that I’ve had my own children and these grandchildren so… very alarming indeed.’

She was also filmed wearing a face mask as she rushed to the school to collect the youngsters.

The midwestern region reported a 13.4 percent positivity rate as of March 2, up from 10 percent a month earlier. 

And in the west, 12.8 percent of tests came back positive for norovirus as of March 2, uip from 11 percent in early February and five percent in November. 

Data from September to the start of February this year shows that Minnesota and Wisconsin have been hardest hit with norovirus — with both reporting more than five outbreaks over this period.

They are followed by California, Florida, Ohio and Virginia which have all reported four outbreaks so far.

But experts say cases are now also starting to take off in states within the North East — including New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Norovirus spreads easily through contact with contaminated surfaces and then touching the area around the mouth or nose.

Infections typically cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach ache and watery diarrhea — as well as a fever and a headache.

Excessive vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to dehydration, which causes decreased urination, dry mouth and throat, and dizziness when standing.  

In the vast majority of cases, symptoms clear within two days — with little treatment needed besides bed rest.

The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, after changing a diaper, before handling food, and before giving yourself or someone else medicine. 

‘It is important to continue washing your hands often even after you feel better,’ the agency states. 

‘Norovirus can be found in your vomit or feces (poop) even before you start feeling sick.’

‘The virus can also stay in your poop for two weeks or more after you feel better and you can still spread norovirus during that time.’

Dr Detwiler also recommended disinfecting surfaces regularly and washing laundry frequently.

‘Implementing these practices can significantly reduce the risk of norovirus infection and help prevent its spread within households and communities,’ he said.

SOURCE

Leave a Comment

5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite 5ite