Very Contagious Norovirus Spreading Across the US

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Doctors are warning that a new strain of the Norovirus from Australia is the most dangerous and contagious virus around, and it's spreading across the U.S.

The virus causes severe stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

"This is as very stubborn virus. It can stay on surfaces and live outside the body," Dr. David Trump, with the Virginia Department of Health, said.

Surfaces like restaurant sterilized dishes, laundry machines, toilet tank covers, and door handles have all been found to carry the virus long after initial contact.

"It is pretty difficult to get rid of," the University of Michigan's Allison Aiello, who studies how viruses spread, said. "It is pretty stable. It lives quite some time on surfaces. It is hard to kill."

Most hand sanitizers can't fight the Norovirus. But experts say using bleach in laundry water and washing hands vigorously with hot water may help prevent the spread of the virus.

There is currently no vaccine according to Dr. John Treanor, with the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. Treanor is working to develop one.

Annually more than 20 million Americans catch the Norovirus.

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