Norovirus Making People Feel Miserable

A nasty and highly contagious stomach virus is making a lot of people miserable across the nation.

Though it may feel like the flu, it is not.

Jenny Sammis' family, friends, and most of her Arlington, Virginia neighborhood was struck with the infection right after New Year’s Eve.

Jenny said, "The symptoms were very, very intense, but they only lasted about 5 hours and then for 24 hours after that you are just tired."

Across the country, nursing homes, restaurants, classrooms, even prisons, including San Quentin in California, have been quarantined because of the outbreak of the bug infection that makes people very miserable for a day or two."

The cause is norovirus, a family of viral infections that brings on intense vomiting and diarrhea.

Norovirus infections, which include the norwalk virus, occur every year at this time.

There have been well-publicized outbreaks on cruise ships, but officials from the Centers for Disease Control say this year's outbreak is far worse than usual.

Alain Widdowson of the CDC stated, "We don't know exactly why it's going on. We have certain hypotheses. One of the hypotheses is that there is a new strain that may be causing many of these outbreaks ... A new strain to which people haven't been exposed before."

Health officials at both the state and federal level say they are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of a big outbreak.

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