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Tuesday, 31 December 2013 03:09

"Stomach flu" on the rise in St. Louis area

   Doctors say the flu shot has been very affective against this year's H1N1 flu strain.  And since the flu season doesn't peak in St. Louis until February, they're urging those who haven't gotten a flu shot yet to get it now.  
   But another illness is promising to bring misery to local residents.  
   Dr. Mark Levine, a physician in the emergency department of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, tells Fox 2 News that norovirus or "stomach flu" appears to be on the rise in the St. Louis area.
   Dr. Levine says a flu shot won't protect against the norovirus. "Although we call it the stomach flu, it's not the same bug," he said.  "It is a virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea, and lots of it."
   Dr. Levine says this time of year is notorious for speading the virus.  ""Everybody's together. Everybody is hugging and kissing for the holidays and for the new year, and sharing all sorts of food.  And that's how all of these things get spread."
   Dr. Levine says norovirus is easily spread in close quarters like offices, schools and nursing homes.  He says the best protection is frequent hand washing, especially after using a restroom and before eating or drinking anything. 
 
Published in Health & Fitness

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois is reporting one new case of a rare stomach illness, bringing the total number of cases in the state to five.

Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says health officials are still investigating the source of the bug and have been unable to link the illness to any food source.

An outbreak of the same infection in Iowa and Nebraska has been tied to salad mix supplied by a Mexican farm.

In Illinois, none of the people infected has required hospitalization. The cases of cyclosporiasis were reported in Montgomery, Jo Daviess, Lake, Sangamon and McHenry counties.

The most recently reported case is in McHenry County. That person got sick the third week of July.

Health officials believe the Sangamon County patient acquired the infection in Iowa.

 
Published in Local News

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