2014 Stomach ‘Flu’ – Powerful Sydney Strain’s Gastroenteritis Update

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What caused your bout of the stomach flu? Image courtesy of the U.S. CDC

What caused your bout of the stomach flu? Image courtesy of the U.S. CDC

A powerful new strain of the stomach flu has emigrated from Australia: Sydney GII.4, and as a result, many Americans have been sick. Sydney is a stomach virus, sometimes called the stomach flu.

The ‘stomach flu’ is not the same as influenza, an upper respiratory illness. The stomach ‘flu’ is really gastroenteritis, and can result from a virus, parasite, or bacteria which spreads easily through contaminated food and/or water.

Sydney is this year’s major strain – researchers first discovered it in Australia in 2012.

Bacteria, Parasites, and Viruses

The types of bacteria that can cause gastroenteritis include Escherichia coli. Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Shigella. This type of bacteria is generally found in food, but infected people can easily spread their stomach illness if they’re not washing hands properly.

Viruses that cause gastroenteritis include adenoviruses, rotaviruses, calciviruses, astroviruses, and norovirus. The norovirus has been a popular virus that has been circulating the globe. You can pick up this lovely virus from contaminated food and water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The GII.4 Sydney is a new strain of the norovirus that researchers first detected in 2012  - Sydney is currently the leading cause of norovirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Gastroenteritis Symptoms

Gastroenteritis can cause painful bloating, nausea, vomiting, a low grade fever of 99 degrees Fahrenheit, and diarrhea. More serious stomach flu symptoms include vomit or diarrhea that contains blood, vomiting for more than 48 hours, a fever greater of 101 degrees Fahrenheit, abdominal swelling and pain in the lower right side of the abdomen. Gastroenteritis can result in dehydration, as well.

stomach-flu

Stomach Flu Update: Nationwide Issue

The CDC has warned the public that the Sydney strain of the norovirus is so strong this year that even hand sanitizers and some cleaning products are not enough to kill it. Doctors tell 14 News in Colorado that although it normally takes about 1,000 flu particles to make a person sick, with the Sydney strain, it only takes about 18 particles.

In Connecticut, doctors at Saint Francis Hospital have seen an increase in patients coming to the emergency room with the norovirus. Even a few of the University of Georgia football players have come down with the norovirus, three days before their big game at the Gator Bowl.

Norovirus and Stomach Flu: The Good News

The good news with gastroenteritis is that it generally goes away on its own, especially if it is caused by a virus. Jason Dees, DO, a family physician in New Albany, Miss., and a member of the board of director of the American Academy of Family Physicians tells WebMD, ” The nice thing about the GI tact is, most of the time the body is able to care for it. The body is trying to wash out the infection or irritation and return your GI tract to its happy state. When it’s trying to do that, you have to be nice to your body and give it hydration to do that.”

Just watch out for sports drinks that can contain too much salt or sugar – sometimes natural remedies for stomach flu are less stressful to your body. Generally within 24 to 48 hours, symptoms begins to subside, and within three to five days, your gastrointestinal tract begins to return to normal.

Prevent Stomach Flu – and Most Viruses

Preventing gastroenteritis is better than trying to treat it. Although it’s not always possible, there are some steps you can take to minimize your chances of catching the stomach flu – or even the swine flu – this year. Wash your hands before eating and after using the bathroom.

Don’t forget to get plenty of rest, as well. If you do get sick, stay home -these few small steps can do a lot for you, and also help prevent the spread of the illness to others.

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© Copyright 2014 Janelle Vaesa, MPH, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Science
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Comments

  1. Merry says

    Like many on here I’m so happy to hedge found this sight! My poor, now, 1 year old has had this off and on for around 2 months at least. I have been distraught thinking a that she has a serious health issue. But like many, tests come back negative. I’ve been googling everything. The ER is sick of me. They keep giving her a shot of antibiotics, which MY DR said that they believe might be contributing to the reoccurrence of the virus because it doesn’t help and the antibiotics kill the good bacteria that the digestive system needs to help fight the vjrus.

    What an awful thing to see and experience. My poor baby!

    I hope everyone the best. Thank you for your comments!

  2. Janiree says

    I started having symptoms of this virus on Thanksgiving Day. Thank goodness it did not hit me until after I arrived back home. Immediately, I was so worried about my family that I had been around all day, particularly my aunt who has terminal melanoma, my 2 year old niece, my elderly parents and of course my son who had to go back home with me. Bless him. Thankfully, it is now 5 days out from the exposure window, and no one else in my family has come down with it, even my son. I locked myself in my room and prayed that I wouldn’t die.

    The vomiting started around 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Everything I had that day came up along with what seemed like everything from the previous week. I know that is not possible, but it really seemed like it. Then about two hours into the vomiting, the diarrhea hit. I assumed the standard toilet and garbage can position and kept praying. I was so weak, I failed to even make it to the toilet/garbage can quick enough to vomit a couple of times and threw down dirty towels, etc., basically anything I could reach from the floor to catch anything that didn’t make it to the toilet or garbage can. Sorry… TMI, but it is the only way to describe the misery. By Friday afternoon, I was crawling on the floor to get to the bathroom or bed because my legs simply would not hold me up. I know that I passed out during all of this at least a couple of times.

    I knew that I was becoming dehydrated as my mouth felt like cotton. I kept trying to sip water, but it just came right back up. This continued through the Friday after Thanksgiving. My son is 15, and I was at the point of asking him to take me to the emergency room or call an ambulance, but it finally stopped.

    The pain in my back and legs and stomach were excruciating. I could not find any comfortable position. The headache was and still is intense. I was unable to take anything for any of the pain because I could not keep it down. I have been so weak and walk with a stooped posture because my stomach is still painful and my muscles are so sore. I was finally able to get out of bed yesterday (Monday) for brief periods, but the second I did, I experienced more diarrhea. Not nearly as bad, but enough.

    I have had a low grade fever and chills and hot flashes as well. I throw off the covers and then grab them back up because I start shivering uncontrollably. I am also dizzy and feel like I am not functioning well mentally. I have had 4 bowls of soup (not one per meal) since Thursday, and it is now Tuesday. I am trying to drink water, but it makes me nauseous as does any solid food whatsoever.

    Today, I have another pain to add to my long list. I have attempted to come back to work as I am out of sick days for the remainder of the year. I am not sure I will make it. The pain is located in my upper to middle left abdominal quadrant and radiates to my back. It feels like my spleen is swollen, sort of like when I had mono as a teenager. I should eat something, I know, but simply don’t feel like it.

    My husband hasn’t been the most understanding person during this. He was out of town with his parents when this hit me, and my poor sweet son tried to take care of me. I kept running him out afraid he would catch it, but he faithfully brought me ice chips and warmed up my rice pack. for my back and legs. Now that it is 4 days out from my worst vomiting/diarrhea episode, my husband says that I am just being a baby and that no stomach bug could last that long. Not that I want to hear that anyone else has this bug, but it is comforting to know I am not alone.

    I am still so exhausted that I keep laying my head on my desk at work. I pray for anyone that comes down with this virus. This is the sickest that I have ever been other than having the Asian Flu as a teenager in the 80′s. I ran a temperature of 106. I have lost 15 pounds and continue to lose. Anyone else experiencing this pain in your left side that radiates to your back? It is pretty intense.

    • Debi says

      I have been suffering from the same symptoms. Horrible virus! I started with two days of vomiting and diarrhea and now a week later, I still can’t handle solid foods. I went to the doctor and they said it was the stomach flu and it would just take time.

      • Joanna says

        They told me the same thing but I can’t keep any solids down and its almost month two of this but they keep telling me its a stomach virus

  3. PharmStudent says

    Not that I’m glad others are suffering but I’m actually relieved to hear that I’m not alone in this because this is the longest lasting bout of gastroenteritis I’ve ever had. I’m also relieved to hear that this originated from Sydney and has been going around since 2012 because that’s when I started getting this at least once, and sometimes twice per year. I am usually ridiculously healthy; one of those middle-aged women who can do 100 or more push-ups at a time and as a former personal trainer, I do circuit training routines several times per week that would kill most young men. But this stomach flu has kicked my butt! I keep thinking I’m getting over it and then it returns with a vengance. I never vomit, but that isn’t new. I do; however, experience intermittant bouts of diarrhea followed by normal bowel movements. I usually don’t have cramps or pain, but every other week might have a slight fever, body aches and a headache. This has been going on for over a month now and I cannot believe the duration of this. I’ve never experienced anything like this before and have finally been directed to collect a stool sample for examination. What is most perplexing, besides the duration, is the fact that I will be well enough to do my usual hardcore exercises for a week or more, and then suddenly, the symptoms return as if had gone dormant for a time. I don’t know if the loperamide is working too well and is masking the symptoms but this is really concerning me. I hope I get answers soon. I’m participating in a hospital internship and have only one week left in which to complete IV training. There is no way that I can enter a clean room with this virus/bacterial infection and need to get rid of this NOW!

    • dawn says

      i have had this for 16 days now,ive never in my life had a flu last this long ,im 49 yrs old,have had diarhea,vommitting aches weakness…i went to er via ambulance,they did blood work,no stool sample,have only had low fever on and off,and stool is bile and mucus …doc says its a long lasting stomach flu and gave me scripts for zofran,bentyl and phenergan,that helped i thought so i started to eat,but it hurt to eat,well,felt good untill it left stomach and moved down…then meds ran out,and im back on liquids….gatorade,broth and vit waters i thought i was dying,and still can hardly stay out of bed more than 15 minutes at a time…i questioned about a blockage,divirticulitis,h.pylori etc…she said nope…weve had several in the er for the 2nd day now,stomach flu…so…i pray it goes away soon,this is horrible !!! best to ya

      • maria says

        This is the longest lasting stomach virus I have ever had! I started feeling bloated the first week in Dec. It just went downhill from there. I had a week of stomach cramping and what felt like an overactive colon. The diarrhea is off and on. I have a headache and body aches.

  4. Tawnya says

    My two kids and I have had this for the past 2 1/2 weeks. I’m an elementary school teacher, so no doubt I picked it upat school. On day one I literally couldn’t get out of bed… I was extremely lethargic. I’m still very tired 18 days later. Last week, I started having chest pains as well… went to the ER, underwent several tests, and this is what they found. Now, a week later, I’m still experiencing lots of gas and shine chest pains. I’m glad I found this page because, like many others, I thought there must be something wrong with me for it to last so long. I just want to feel normal again. My house looks like a tornado hit it, and I haven’t been back to work yet. Does anyone know how long we are contagious?

  5. Mary says

    My daughter has had this virus for three weeks now. Severe stomach cramps,diarrhea,vomiting,etc. We’ve had her to the doctor twice and stool sample tests all come back negative. She has missed so much school and is in jeopardy of losing her job.
    I am at a loss…it is so hard to watch her suffer and not be able to do anything to help her. We’ve got her on a applesauce,chicken noodle soup,toast and Activia and the doctor tried to give her Flagyl,but it seems to have made her sicker,so she stopped taking it.
    If anyone has any suggestions,please,please help!

  6. John says

    This stomach bug went through my daughters elementary school last week and about half of the kids in school got it. Kids were throwing up in class. She vomited for 4 days but is still suffering from fatigue 10 days later. Now my Poor 13 month son has it and so do I. It’s awful. Nausea is very intense and my appetite is completely gone. Even water makes me feel queasy. No loose stools for us but we have headaches, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, mild runny noses, low fever, and stomach cramps. I hope that we don’t have to deal with this much longer. Got a flu shot but guess that didn’t cover this nasty bug! My poor 13 month old and I are miserable! Hard to take care of a cranky baby when you’re sick yourself :(

  7. Kimmie says

    I am so happy to find this site and see everyone’s comments. We are in GA and I believe my 19 yr old son has this virus. Started out with cramping so bad that he was in a ball on the floor. Then came the worst diarrhea ever. He ended up in the ER for dehydration and they did bloodwork, urine sample and even a CT. Everything came back ok, but he is on day four and doesn’t seem to be any better. He keeps saying that his lower abdomen feels heavy and it is hard to get comfortable. He has only vomited once and has no appetite at all. The low grade fever did finally break today but the diarrhea has persisted. I have never seen my child this sick! I feel better knowing that others symptoms are similar to his. I have been so worried that maybe the ER missed something. I will give it a few more days to see if he improves. Take care everyone!

    • Kimmie says

      My son saw his primary care physician today after suffering severe cramps overnight. The doctor still says that he just has a stomach bug and should be on the tail end of it. He suggested Pedialyte to ensure he doesn’t dehydrate again. The reassurance from the doctor has helped his nerves (and stomach) greatly as he was getting scared that he wasn’t getting better. He also says the Pedialyte made a him feel significantly better than Gatorade did.

  8. amy says

    Chattanooga TN
    day 5 of pooping.. never in my life have I had a stomach bug persist for so long. Gave all the samples at the doc today for labs to find out wth this is. At this point I want it to be bacterial. Atleast I can get some antibiotics and be on the road to recovery. Very disconcerting to hear otherrs have had symptoms for so long. Why are we not hearing more about this? Good luck all!

    • Janet says

      I’m in Perth Australia and I first had this virus in mid April for more than 2 weeks.
      Since then I get well for a couple of days and then I get sick for a couple of days with a fever and nausea. This has been happening since mid April so for about 6 months now. It’s horrible because you think you ate finally getting wrll and you get sick again.

    • Renee says

      I am thankful to have found this link. Am on day 4 with this awful stuff and was becoming concerned that there was something wrong with me…why am I not recovering like I usually do? I also got the flu vaccine two weeks ago (new strain, I understand).

      I still feel like crying, as I’m tired of being “laid up”, but at least I know I’m not alone. Patience (and hydration) is they key, is what I’m hearing. :(

  9. Grey says

    I’m on day 13 of this. Honestly I am glad to have found this thread because it’s making me crazy that it’s lasting so long. I had one night of severe upper stomach cramps, diarrhea and low grade fever. My lower stomach has been distended, gassy, very uncomfortable and I can’t get too far from a bathroom. Immodium helps but only temporarily. My son has it too, not as severe, but every few days gets extremely nauseous. We’re both home today with it. I went to the store to get him ginger ale and had to go to the bathroom 3 times in 30 minutes. Frustrated!!!

    • LukasD says

      Sorry to hear, but also somewhat comforted to know we’re not alone. I’ve had a similar issue for 7 weeks. My wife has had something for 5 weeks and now daughter for 3 weeks (she is 12 and I’m hopeful hers is more mild).
      Mine Started with diarrhea, lower left abdominal pains, then body aches (ie: wrists pain, cramp in my right calf), Nausea/dizzy/confusion (I had to pull over while driving a couple times cause I felt “spacey” light headed), stomach rumbles, fatigue, chest pain sensation (felt like needles poking – that’s the best way I can describe it), shortness of breath. My blood pressure was also higher than normal for first few weeks.

      Medical bills are starting to pour in (several blood labs, a few stool tests like bacterial/parasitic/CDiff, Ultrasound cause Dr initially thought it could have been a gull stone, CT Scan, EKG test, hospital visit due to chest pains/shortness of breath). I was also referred to an Infectious Deasease Dr, then later to a Gastro/GI specialist. “It must be viral and just needs to run its course” with no name has been the diagnosis. My wife who also went to her different Dr was told it seems a lot like Parvovirus. Although that was one of my blood test that showed elevated levels of IgG for parvovirus, my Dr told me she didn’t think I had that “cause we all probably had parvovirus early in our life which would show high levels”. They’re both UC Davis Dr’s in the same office so I don’t know which one is more right.
      Early test showed lipase levels were high so I was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis, then 2 weeks later they were back to normal. UC Davis GI specialist said she didn’t think I had Pancreatitis, but instead thought that was the virus throwing my levels off.

      I’ve been getting my energy back this past week, and was diarrhea free for 6 days, but yesterday it became soft and then today it was watery again (ugh, shouldn’t have started to celebrate yet). Pain levels were a 6 now they’re more like a 2. Nights/mornings seem to show most pain/ache symptoms.

      Interestingly, not all symptoms are the same for my fam. My wife and I both have wrist aches, leg cramps. But my daughter hasn’t had that. Instead, my daughter has had various stomach/side pain. Then we eventually took her to hospital cause her hip bone area was painful.
      We’ve never vomitted during any of this.

      To protect my fam, I checked the following in my home environment… Carbon Monoxide detectors, asked gas company to check property for gas leak, lead test kit, asked my Dr to test me for lead poisoning (since I was doing a home remodel project “kicking up dust” and my house was built before lead was banned in 1978.) I was surprise to research that “lead poisoning” has many of the same symptoms we’ve dealt with. Yes, you can say I went overboard cause I’ve never had something last this long and Dr’s have confirmed we’re healthy.

      Recently, I can relate to the comments about feeling like you’re getting better, then it comes back again. But all in all, I feel like I’m running at 90%, which is better than 2 weeks ago which was better than 4 weeks ago. Wrist pains aren’t as bad, calf pains aren’t as often, abdominal pains level is lower, bowel movements less frequent, nausea not as much, etc.

      Things that may help relieve symptoms that I’ve learned: Probiotic like Culterelle daily, lots of water and/electrolytes to stay hydrated (juices encourage diarrhea so avoid those), plenty of sleep and rest. This nasty thing goes into hibernation mode and you’ll think you’re better, become more active, then it returns.

      Good luck and hopefully soon to be, good riddance.

      • Christine says

        Are you finally over this virus yet?

        Did you have any acid reflux with it? Me and my daughter have had symptoms like this for over a month as well. I have been to the E.R. and diagnosed gastritis. During the first 2 weeks or so my stomach hurt all day every day, I was belching and had terrible flatulence. I could not stand up it hurt so bad. The only thing that helped was Pepcid. The last 2 weeks, the stomach pain is gone during the day but comes back every day around 6pm. When I eat, it goes away but I feel slight acid reflux in my throat until I take Maalox and go to bed (sleep propped up). My saliva has been foamy with this virus. Did you have these symptoms?

  10. says

    I have had this virus now for 7 days having all the same nausea,dizzy,throwong up and diarrhea as all others There has to be a way to treat this.There has to be information on where is came from.I have been feeling as tho I am dying.The hospital gave me IV and put me on Reglan 10mg. Seems this is all that will take the awful stomach sickness away.The chest pain seems to be getting worse.And I have been so weak I can do no house work at all.Help us this virus is spreading all over the US.

  11. mike says

    Started last week w/sudden loss in appetite, aches all over body. Next day cramping, nausea, chills, low-grade fever (hovered around 100), headache, feeling like a boulder in my stomach. I did not vomit but felt like I would feel feel better if I did (but I really, really hate to vomit) and then the diarrhea. Fever broke after 2 days and achy feeling passed after the 3rd day and severe cramping and nausea along with it but I’m now on Day 9 of diarrhea, little appetite, and my energy level is not what I consider normal.

    I’ve put off going to the doctor because I kept thinking as long as I stay hydrated and certain symptoms disappear that this will pass. Now, I’m getting a little panicky because the diarrhea shows no signs of letting up and the dull, annoying (but not excruciating) headache remains after 9 days. I have a week of business travel starting in 3 days and am dreading being in an airport, plane, meetings and having to run to a toilet on a second’s notice.

    • Pat and Baz and family says

      Don’t go on a plane journey…you will feel uncomfortable as well as running the risk of spreading this dreadful illness..I hope you feel much better soon.; remember, you are contagious for a couple of weeks after Norovirus ..yes, I pray for a vaccine, as I nearly lost my 1 year old son to this sickness 43 years ago!!

  12. Amy says

    I have had all the symptoms of this new virus. Stomache burning, a bubble like pressure, vomiting, diarrea, cold chills, sweats, tired and sore everywhere. And its been about 2 weeks today and the pain in my stomach is getting worse as i work or on my feet. Ive heard you are supposed to take tons of antibiotics for this, but now ppl are saying it goes away on its own eventually. If thats true, how long does it usually take for acid and pain to go away in my stomach? Someone please help me, if theirs anything i can do thatll rid this other than go to the hospital, pls let me know. Id truely thank anyone who could help me thru this.

    • Kristi says

      Las Vegas, Nevada here- we were told my husband likely had the flu- not the stomach flu, but after reading these comments and seeing others with like symptoms- severe nausea, terrible headache, low grade fever, aches, chills, diarrhea and an upper respiratory component of congestion; we realize it’s obviously not the flu, and likely this stomach flu. It came on so quickly, and I am just praying our kids ( and I! ) don’t get sick,too. It’s pretty miserable around here. I will say this- two things that have been phenomenal in helping my husband not totally lose it are Pedialyte ( not Gatorade- too much salt/sugar) for all the dehydration from the diarrhea and the prescription for Promethazine 25mg suppositories.
      ( if you’re so nauseated you can’t eat, drink, function- do you really care where it goes!?) Bonus- Promethazine knocks you out, so you can simply sleep, which is all he wants to do. Feel better and best of luck to everyone!

      • Cyndi says

        You don’t get upper respiratory issues with stomach flu. Stomach flu is actually gastroenteritis, which is inflammation of the intestines. It can be caused by a virus or from bacteria in food or drinks. The article even states that. Both are terrible to have, though.

    • elsa says

      Thanks for this post…day 24 of it, and I began thinking that, with such stomach acidity, I must have a stomach ulcer! No matter what I eat, basic food or not, I have nauseas! I wake up with a headache, etc. I am hungry but even basic food is a turn-off…and diarrhea remains intermittent, and so is the mild fever…

  13. Denise says

    I’m in Philly Pa, and I too picked up this virus somewhere. This is the most awful illness I have ever experienced. Like some other comments I have read on here, I actually started wondering if it was a virus or if something else was wrong. Five days ago I started with extreme nausea and forced myself through the work day. By the days end I barely made it home before I started vomiting with diarrhea and the most severe stomach pains I have ever felt. I had chills, muscle aches, and a low grade fever. By day 3 the vomiting ceased but all other symptoms continued. Each day since has gotten a little better but I am still struggling with no appetite and lingering nausea. I’m praying my young children don’t get this! I am also shocked that we are not hearing more about it.

    • Shirley says

      Denise, do you still have the diarrhea ? My husband pick this bug like a month ago and he’s been having diarrhea for like three weeks, he had bouts of nausea and now for the past 6-7 days he developed low-grade fever, body aches, chills and fatigue. But he still has the diareah and we are getting worried, if you could help me ,I would really appreciate your comments. Thanks,,

  14. Beth says

    I’m in San Francisco. Woke up around midnight August 8th, pain in stomach. Started vomiting in the morning. That lasted three days, then one day of diarrhea. I wasn’t able to eat for about 10 days. I’m just now getting my appetite back. This was one of the worst stomach viruses I’ve ever had. Nausea was unbearable at times. Glad its finally subsiding. I went to the doctor on 8/25 to make sure there wasn’t some other reason I wasn’t recovering as fast as I thought I should be. She assured me this was a particularly potent virus – just to keep drinking water and eating healthy.

  15. Steph in PA says

    For maybe a week, I felt like I had a bowling ball in my stomach, and I had persistent nausea, severe gas, and some loose BMs. Then it hit hard with vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and ridiculous pain. I haven’t been this tired since I had mono as a teenager. I started feeling a little better, and then I began having more inflammation (bowling ball) and nausea, etc. This has been the first time I’ve vomited since I was a kid! Scary stuff. If it’s resistant to hand sanitizers, etc., and it makes you sick with so few flu particles….I just hope that once we have it, we can’t get it again! Feel better folks. XO

    • Jim says

      Question: did any of you also experience an upper respiratory element? Perhaps seeming sinus congestion or cold-like symptoms? And also a headache? If so, might be similar to a version passing through Rochester (although the vomiting and diarrhea isn’t nearly so pronounced.)

      • says

        After the cramping and diarrhea Sunday thought all was well until late yesterday afternoon. Oh diarrhea what pain and diarrhea all night. Still got diarrhea today with nausea and lower abd. pain. Can’t even think food!!!!! Just make the nausea worst.. Hope no one has to feel this bad!!!!!!

      • Shirley says

        Yes, my husband does have upper-respitory infection too, along with every thing else, my husband is still suffering with the diarrhea, he’s had it for like three weeks now!!

      • Pat and Baz and family says

        Headache yes, upper respiratory problems – no…Sounds like two different viruses/bacterium going on at the same time…Feel better soon;-)

      • DP says

        I’ve had the headaches, nasal congestion and very limited bowel issues (mostly loose). But man the headaches and backaches were debilitating.

  16. Jan says

    July 27, 2014
    New Hampshire stomach virus is extreme. People are fine then suddenly vomiting uncontrollably, in extreme pain with severe nausea. Then diarrhea, gas, bloating, headache and low grade temp lasting well over a week. Last I saw this type of sudden onset was 8 years ago and it made local news. My husband(who never gets sick) was in bed moaning for two days. Stay home and stay away from people. Not sure how it is transmitted. Day 5 and he is still in pain and barely eats anything.
    Makes me wish we didn’t watch so many zombie movies! PS CDC has no updates on this that I can find.

    • chrisann says

      Don’t know where it came from …..2 days of vomiting and diarrhea with no end in sight. Nothing stays down. I’m in California. Never had a stomach flu so bad. Laid on the bathroom floor between bouts til second day.now stagger to the bathroom.

    • Mike says

      This virus went through my entire family…I haven’t been right for over a week…Thought I was over it…Its back…nasty

  17. Jen says

    Friday night i felt a little off…was falling asleep while sitting up…saturday morning i was completely out of it and couldnt get up and moving around…i vomited then went to sleep several times …by 2pm the stomach pain and fever caused me to have lapses in time …i was in pain burning up throwing up had explosive mucous type diarrhea and was very confused…it continued on sunday then to monday…finally went to er on tuesday…was diagnosed with gastroenteritis…im on day 5 now and the stomach cramps are very intense and still having some diarrhea…i really wish this would end…definitely by far the worst flu ive ever encountered…dont wish this on my worst enemy

  18. Karen G says

    My stomach felt like it caught on fire, like a hot knife, in my upper belly. That was three days ago. In bed a lot and have a fever off and on around 99. Now it is moving south in my stomach. However, no vomiting, and no diarrhea, really not much BM really. I am eating some and drinking as much as I can. I guess this is the Sydney strain. I really really hope mine doesn’t last so long…..this 4 days has been really awful. The pain in my stomach never goes away. No relief. It worries me a little. I’m 50 and not in great health. Sick with an unknown fever in hospital for 4 days a few months ago and then bladder cancer treatment early this year. Oh what a year. My garden is going to under. Tomorrow is my Birthday, and if I got what I wanted I would have my garden tended and some nice trimming around. I cant stay out of bed long, lay there and hold my tummy. Watch some tv. Oh well……glad I’m not alone too! N/W Kentucky here, just out of IN. Take care all!

    • Ginny Stroud says

      Well seems to have reached UK. I have had uncontrollable liquid disrrhea for two days, luckily so far no vomiting. I have lost five pounds in those days. I have spoken to two friends who are in their second and third respective weeks (one has lost one and a half stone) The only advice (telephone) GPs are giving is eat bland foods, and drink, but not anything fruity or fizzy. I don’t blame them for staying away from us “plague” victims but this seems to be an epidemic which is not being made public. This morning my husband is experiencing the first symptoms: awful stabbing pains in upper stomach and initial loose stools. At the moment I have got onto the lower gut cramping, but still liquid stools. My husband described it well when he said that it feels like your entire digestive system is emptying and you have no bowels inbetween. Hope you get well – my doctor did say that it can last a week or more. I am taking amino acids (L-glutamine) which heals the gut and helps diarrhea – its a natural occurring body product given to people weak after chemotherapy, but also good for general digestive health.

    • Jim says

      Hi Karen, I read your post and wanted to let you know about a website: vitaminDcouncil.org; I think it is. It’s a non-for-profit grouping of medical practitioners who advocate the usage of Vitamin D. Some studies are now showing that it can positively impact elements similar to what you are posting about. Thoughts and prayers are with you. Also, check out Himalayan mountain salt – it has iodine, which is supposed to be important in helping to heal from certain nutrient deficiencies. Anyway, all the best.

  19. JENNY says

    Last Thursday 6/26/2014 I developed a head cold sneezing alot sore throat. Then by Friday I had full blowin body flu. I was achy all over,had chills and headaches.. but no temp. I slept for those 2 days. when i went outside the light hurt my eyes heat really bothered me. by Sun. aches were gone but still tired coughing. I still have a head cold blowing my nose alot . Today is Wednesday 7/2/2014 Starting to feel a little better. Plus I pray alot too. I know Jesus is our healer! Believe on what our miracle God will do for you! Hope everyone feels better soon!

  20. SicklyMel says

    This is day 3 for me! It’s not been too bad…. yet. Thursday I was fine. Friday I woke up and felt off. Like completely weird and just unwell. Then I had horrible diarrhea and nausea. Now the diarrhea is gone but anytime I eat or drink I’m horribly nauseated and I’m extremely gassy too. I got so worried though as I’ve not been able to really eat since Thursday. I’m drinking tons of fluids and munching on crackers when I can. Went to the doctor and her husband had it and on day 5 is finally getting better. He like me didn’t have it bad…. but it’s very very unpleasant. If my symptoms change I’ll update and let you know how it changed.

  21. Lisa Botts says

    This nasty virus lasted for 11 days for me. Don’t give up hope, but DO get rest and drink fluids. I was so spread thin with my work (end of year teaching), my kids’ school year ending and a daily All Stars baseball schedule at night that my body couldn’t fight it off. Once I took a day to rest, I got better.

  22. Michelle says

    Ocala, FL – day eight and there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I hope. The cramping is what really gets to me. No more vomiting, only pooped four times today, and good energy level. But it feels like my stomach is occasionally cramping around an acid-dipped rock. This stuff is EVIL.

  23. says

    It has been 9 days. First three days just a bad stomach ache. By the 4th day thought I was getting over it and by that afternoon I was throwing up ….viciously throwing up…at least 10x. This is the kind that you can’t catch your breath and you can’t stop…my stomach was burning horribly. The burning is the entire stomach region…not one particular area. I have had a low grade fever (99), minor diarrhea, just the worst stomach ache you could ever imagine. 5th day…feeling slightly better…still pain in stomach, but not throwing up. 6th Day left on a plane for a business trip….was okay until the afternoon and then the throwing up started again! At that point….all night long. The pain in my stomach was horrendous. 7th Day …woke up okay (went to business meeting) Then the pain in the stomach started again in the afternoon 10x worse then all the previous times. It was so bad that I thought I was going to pass out from the pain. I was laying in my hotel room, my breathing was labored, I could barely talk and had the worst pain you could imagine (maybe worse than when I had my kids). The issue is…it is not off/on…the pain is constant. It feels like you have acid sitting in the bottom of your stomach. I called the front desk (thank goodness it was the Hilton) there shuttle took me to the Hospital-ER. At this point I COULD HAVE called an ambulance I was in that much pain….crying the entire way to Hospital. They hooked me up to an IV, 2 doses of morphine to stop the pain and anti throw-up meds. A CT Scan, blood & urine test later…. they ruled out everything else. This is the worst sickness I have ever had in my life!!

      • Kevin Tynan says

        Mine started over 2wks a really bad headache stuffed up feeling , then sore throat ,darting pain in my stomach .Then pain in muscles stiff neck and legs . Started to have a little bout of unreality .my body was. Aching all. Over. Started to worry something really serious.nauseous feeling ,throbbing headache shoulders pain on both sides of rib cage. Dizzy aching throbbing constant without relief. Forcing a little food down. Waiting for tomorrow hoping for some. Improvement. Pulled muscle in my lower back keep faith god bless my doggy still likes me!!! Thanks for reading ,hope it helps a bit!,

  24. Robbie says

    Tampa, FL, has it. I’m finishing day 5. The first few days the diarrhea was violent. I thought I was feeling better around day 2 or day 3 and then bam…. back to where I started. I just went to the doctor today. He said liquid diet for one day and then the BRAT diet. He also mentioned Probiotics. I’ve started Probiotics in my system and no solid food today (still having diarrhea). The only other sympton was nausea. I did vomit one time (Day 2 or 3). After reading everything and talking to my doc, I’m going to stick with the liquid diet for another day or two and focus on keeping myself hydrated.

    • Jeannine says

      Hi Robbie, I trust you are feeling better :) I’m in Phoenix, AZ. My symptoms sound exactly like yours, and I’m also on probiotics, and a liquid and BRAT diet. That is all I my stomach can handle. I am interested in knowing how long it took you to recover.

  25. cherlyn says

    June 16 This is the worst thing I have had in years. First week stomach cramps.
    second week couldn’t get away from the bathroom, felt I needed diaper. Didn’t throw up thank goodness. third week still have to stay close to bathroom never know when it is going to happen. If you were in 70 or above this could kill you. Friend was in hospital then she came home. the only way I could of gotten this is by touching her door at her house. She wasn’t home but her germs were, bad stuff

  26. terri says

    Had this virus now for 10/11 days. Spent this past Friday night at the hospital to have an I.V. for hydration. If anyone reads this & you suspect you have this, (Stay home) do not spread it & make sure you give yourself a chance to “completely” get over this. I was feeling better a week ago & “thought” i was over it. Spent the day out and the next day it hit me twice as hard. Nothing to mess around with….. Bed rest, fluids-fluids-fluids, bland diet (broth, etc…) STAY HOME. I have lost approx. 12 pounds in 10 days, terrible virus!

      • Ava says

        Yep it sure is in Western KY, and I have it. The most god-awful explosive, burning liquid diarrhea since yesterday afternoon. Every 3-5 minutes. Had to change pj’s 4 times last night, diarrhea while sleeping. Headache, bones burning, weak. Drinking home made pedialyte with Emergen-C citrus and home made fresh peppermint tea. Neighbor game me some homeopathic arsenicum album 30X for diarrhea. It seems to be helping but only slightly.

    • Larry Launer says

      Well I’m into day 11 , never got the vomits and mild other end stuff , first 2 days classic symptoms , felt better on day 3 , then day 4 felt like the worst stomach gas bubble all time , The next 3 days solid pain , that last few days its mainly been night and morning cramping some lose stools and a bit of abdominal tenderness , I just wish this thing would pass on , its the worst I’ve ever had and the longest.

    • Larry Launer says

      I’m on day 11 , had the classic stuff for 2-3 days , but day 4 it hit me with a vengenge , bloating , cramps etc , Never did throw up though ,

  27. kim says

    My husband and I have 4 kids. In April my 8 yr old got it on a Tuesday. He had lots of vomiting and a little diarrhea. On Wednesday my 6 yr old got it. Vomiting & diarrhea. Thurs night, I had severe diarrhea. Watery BM every 30 mins. Early Friday, my husband and 16 yr old son had it. My 14 yr old daughter never got it! Almost 2 months later, she has diarrhea and vomited once. I hope we don’t get it again. I’m praying it’s the same strain we had before so that our bodies are immune to it. This stomach virus is TERRIBLE!

  28. Alice says

    I too am suffering with this stomach bug. My stomach starting having spasms which lasted almost the whole illness. I vomited maybe twice during both bouts with it. But it was repetitive vomiting. You barely can breathe between episodes. The first time I slept the whole day. It lasted maybe 8 hours. Followed by leg pain. This last bout lasted longer, I ran a fever, slept like crazy. I had this virus two times over a two week period. I caught it from my grandsons who attend daycare. Drink lots of water

  29. Amari Harland says

    This is my third day with this virus and it is horrible .. the stomach cramps are so serve that its hard for me to sleep. Cant eat anything but I feel like I need to eat . Chicken broth will help , my doctor said even if I can’t eat it , make myself eat it. She also told me to drink plenty fluids so I bought a pack of powerades . This is day three and I dnt feel as bad as I did but I still feel horrible .. if u can’t prevent yourself from gettin this please do soo .. cramps and bloatin is the worst thing about it . I wouldn’t even wish this on my worst enemy !!

  30. Greta says

    I have had this since Monday 5/19/2014, it is horrible ! I have had severe nausea , dirreah and severe cramps I am on day 4 ! I feel like I need to eat and try a cracker and as soon as I eat it in doubled over with cramps! I have low blood sugar and need to keep something in my stomach ! Please tell me when this will end ?

    • Jan says

      This is from Phoenix AZ. On Tuesday I woke up feeling tired and “green around the gills”. I’m a massage therapist and never want to work on clients when I’m sick, but I saw 2 clients that day, not knowing I was sick. My mouth became dry, I felt somewhat nauseous, and I quickly realized I needed to go home for the day. Later, I developed chills, a slight fever (only the 1st day) and runny diarrhea (which lasted 3 days). I thought I was feeling better on Saturday, but that night, my legs and hips hurt equally on each side and were sore to the touch. On Sunday, I had cold sweats again that morning and felt woozy, although no diarreah. This is the strangest thing.mI’m still not well enough to work. I think I caught it from a client who wss complaining of the same hip and leg pain I had. People really should realize that unexplained body aches are associated with illness much of the time and just stay home. Things spread because no one wants to lay low long enough to get well. I’ve lost so much money by canceling clients that it will be hard to make up for the loss.

  31. Kitty says

    I feel badly for all of you, and I am so glad that I didn’t get the WORST version of this stomach bug, because the following has been my 2013/ 2014 “school year”/ Flu Season ordeal, so far:

    * Summer-End of the year 2013: Extensive play rehearsals
    * Summer 2013: Pacemaker implanted
    * Dec 1-roughly the end of the year: The flu that took me away from the play (Fever, 2 fainting episodes within 5 hours, sinus issues, coughing fits that were so bad that I had to hold my ribs, etc.)
    * Mid-March: Heart valve surgery
    * This month: The Stomach Flu…Between early last Thursday morning, and Friday afternoon (?), I was bent over a bucket…repeatedly…unable to stop, and I’m a LOUD, angry patient, too, so I was miserable. Somebody else from my family had fallen ill on about the 13th, and I’d been cleaning the sinks, etc., out for them. After I fell ill, we were ALL ill, and, at one point during Friday, we were all just lying about…on the floor…where I’d spent my sick time with the first family member who had been ill; they were caring for me, when they were barely well themselves!

    This has got to have been the…worst…stomach…flu that I’ve ever had. I only had one instance of a runny BM (Thank goodness, because I was so icked out about that, but it seemed to hit everybody from my family EXCEPT for me!), but I was hit with a low-grade fever, some nausea, persistent stomach discomfort, and true chest pain.

    I was terrified about the prospect of becoming dehydrated, and I was panicking about the fact that I could only have fluids (H20 and 7 UP). I requested some food, but it all came up later, anyway, and my family’s reassurance that the barfing would only last for about 24-hours proved to be wrong, as I was bent over a bucket for longer than anybody else from my family. I could never even sense exactly when I was going to be ill; I just had to keep lying there, on the floor, waiting…sleeping whenever I could…and awakening to bend over the baking soda-and-water-filled bucket again…just in case…

    I’ve heard that this stomach flu takes sooo much out of you…for days and days after it’s gone. I feel as though I’m trying to make up for a serious lack of food. I only hope that the burping that occurs during the recovery time doesn’t come to anything other than burping…

    • terri says

      I have had this stomach virus for 5 days now. I feel better, but i am so exhausted. Funny you should say that about the burping, i have been doing that as well. I have seen where one person said her hip was hurting severely it was my chest that hurt me the most & my fever topped out at 103. Anyway, i hope we all get over this quickly.

  32. RockyRacoon says

    Get some pro biotics into your system and try oil of oregano a few drops in a glass of water it is antibiotic and antiseptic I would try garlic pills as well they have antibiotics in them and these viruses are not used to the natural types of antibiotics but immune to the one’s on the market. From this description one can’t tell if this is viral or bacterial. ” gastroenteritis is that it generally goes away on its own, especially if it is caused by a virus” so is it sometimes not? I put this in before someone said antibiotics don’t work on virus. blah blah

  33. Laurie says

    This is day eight for my wife, she is so paranoid with the diarrhea that I went to the pharmacy and bought her some Depends and baby wipes in caese she has another accident while driving to work.this is after spending three days in the hospital being pumped full of IV meds

  34. Marisa says

    (Atlanta area) I woke up early Saturday morning and immediately threw up. It’s been approximately 65 hours and this thing is going strong. Symptoms: vomiting the 1st 24hours. Then the diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, back pain came. Horrible! I still have every one of those symptoms minus the vomiting. Now I also seem to be uncomfortably bloated, and gassy. I just wAnt it to stop!!!!!! I just want to cry and sleep. This sucks. Just wanted to post in case others in the Atlanta areA are having the same symptoms. I’m trying to gauge if this is “going around.”

    • Richard Grubb says

      Central Ohio –

      Beginning on Monday May 12th, 2014, my son and I displayed extreme nausea, overwhelming fatigue, and body aches Monday and Tuesday.

      On Wed the fatigue and aches left, but I developed EXTREME bloating and gas followed by relentless acidic liquid diarrhea that literally would require a trip to the bathroom every 15 to 30 minutes (if I was lucky to last that long!) Nausea was still present but I believe this was due to my intestines feeling so distended and noisy/gassy.

      Thursday my bowel movements were still constantly every 15 to 30 minutes, but just foamy/loose. Not pure liquid, but nothing solid. Still very gassy and bloated.

      Friday much of the same as Thursday.

      As of this posting, today is Saturday, and I still have a very loose stool but have only gone twice in 6 hours. Gas is less constant, but the bloating has began to subside and I finally feel like I have room to breath again.

      No change in diet helped my symptoms (clear liquids, BRAT, ect) nor did medication (Pepto, Tums, Imodium, gas-x)

      I hope anyone who gets this has vacation or sick leave to afford to deal with this!

      • James says

        My stomach issues started on Wednesday May 7th 2014. Is this a coincidence? It started as cold chills and excruciating abdominal pain. I thought that I had the flu. I stayed in bed miserable all weekend. I went to urgent care on Sunday May 11th (terrible way to spend Mother’s Day) and the doctor said that I had a virus. When I returned to work I had heard that many people shared similar symptoms as I had. But what is causing this outbreak? Does anyone really know? The symptoms seem to come and go now. Week 3.

    • Tpeery says

      I’m glad to see I’m not alone with this nasty virus here in Atlanta. I started off on Monday 5/19 feeling a little lightheaded. By Tues morning, I was so lightheaded and nauseated that I couldn’t drive. My husband took me to the doctor when I couldn’t stop vomiting all day Tues and into Wed. The doctor sent me to urgent care for IV fluids and Zofran which helped. Thurs I vomited but not as much. Friday and Today, 5/24 I just have a little diarrhea but the lightheaded ness is really bad. How long does this terrible stomach virus last???

  35. says

    My 19 daughter started getting sick on 5/1/14 and it is 5/9/14 and she is still sick. She has immune issues and went to dr. yesterday. Advised Zantac 150 for the burping, indigestion and other. It seems to have helped a bit. Zantac 150 2 x day, then if not better add Prilosec both to take to soothe the digestinal track. And yes, she had the blood in the stool. Awful stomach ache, headaches, fever of 99.1-99.7 (normal for her is 97.6) so this is a fever. Hard time thinking clearly, very tired, no energy. In the beginning she never did throw up, but heaved, but diarrhea. She did eat the most today. Soups, rice, toast, pedialite and water are better than sports drinks. We are in the DFW area. From what I understand it is going around.

    • Nancy says

      I started Sunday after Thanksgiving with chills and loss of appetite. Then 4 days of diarrhea, high fever, vice gripping headache and severe stomach pain. Went to the emergency room for IV Fluids. Have not have anything but soup, saltines and icicles. Slept over 11 hours last night. On day 10 and still feel light headed and exhausted. Hope no one gets this dreadful virus! Hope to feel better tomorrow.

  36. Horriblevirus says

    My daughter had constant diarrhea for 8 days. She is six, it was very scary. She had labs and tests done still waiting on results. she ran a 103.5 fever on day 7 then by day 9 she was back to normal.

  37. pitbull says

    Hey been there ive had this thang two times this year already…i agree i wouldnt wish this on anyone …hope your feeling
    Better ginerale and jello help me when i was to scared to eat
    Sincerly Jen

  38. pitbull says

    For me started off with burps awful smell
    Then cramps so bad i wanna to just curl up and cry for help 3 rd vomit like i have never in my life couldnt take breaths between..then diarrhea that last for almost
    3 weeks…i smelled like eggs no joke the worst stmoach pain next to labor thats how bad…i wouldnt wish this on any one at all . Lucky my kids have not shown
    Signs of this yet..

    • #pukinmygutsup says

      That’s exactly how it’s been for me. Im on day 4. If I have to endure this for a whole 3 weeks I dont think I’ll make it.

      • pitbull says

        It gets better slowly
        Just drinl water
        Gingerale helps to if you like
        It start that with jello when u
        Feel brave…it doesnt make your
        Stomach turn…hope you feel better
        Soon

  39. Ellie says

    Worst virus I’ve ever had. It has lasted six days and is just now getting better. I would advise not eating anything; just keep hydrated.

    • TheChiChic says

      This is day 2 for me. At least the vomiting has stopped. The water diar, abdominal cramping, and headache continue. No appetite whatsoever … including NO energy. Sleep is the key.

  40. Beadgirl says

    I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Every bone and muscle in my body hurt so badly it actually brought tears to my eyes. That followed with diarrhea, vomiting and freezing. It’s been 48 hours now and I still feel woozy. I am wondering what people have been eating to get their dogestive system back to normal. I tried the brat diet, but I threw at up too.

  41. momma says

    my 3 year old got sick all week last week puking all week then my 8 year old got sick on Friday couldn’t eat couldn’t drink just laid on the couch watching TV was not hungry for anything and then I woke up this morning and I’m sick now.

  42. Mark says

    Just finished with it..was brutal…I let it run it’s course rather than combat it with over the counter treatments ..

    • toni says

      My baby grandson got it..this flu. my daughter and son in law and then we had a baby shower a family get together..ALL 12 of us got this flu..we all thought that it might be food poisining..except that not all of us ate. it seems like this flu attacked us at the same time.

  43. vince says

    i dont know how to explain it, but everyone in my house has it, my girlfriend has it whom i kiss and hold daily, and i still show no symptoms. is it strange to be immune?
    not to mention that we all shared the same food, types of drinks, and utilities

    • William_S1 says

      People with a certain bloodtype is less likely to get it, in additon about 20% of caucusians have some sort of genetic mutations providing much stronger immunity to the Norovirus. I tend to catch this bug every 10 years or so, caught in 2012, before that I caught it in 2003. The symtoms I get tend to be pretty mild with vomiting only lasting for 5-6 hours so I may have some sort of immunity.

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