By: Hollie Hojek email@example.com Kaitlyn Bourn is spending her Memorial Day Weekend making a splash at AquaVenutre water park in Norfolk, Nebraska. "You just play around here, you play in the waterMore>>
AquaVenture Water Park Opens Up in Norfolk, Nebraska. More>>
By: Hollie Hojek firstname.lastname@example.org For the 3rd Memorial Day Weekend in a row, the Girls of '68 celebrated and shared part of Sioux City's rich history. The local organization dedicated to keeping SiouxMore>>
Girls of '68 Share Story of Sioux City's First White Settler, Theodiphile Bruguier. More>>
By: Diana Johnsen email@example.com On Saturday, at Wal-Mart and the Southern Hills Mall in Sioux City, the Sioux City Police Department helped parents create "children identification kits". TheMore>>
On Saturday, at Wal-Mart and the Southern Hills Mall in Sioux City, the Sioux City Police Department helped parents create "children identification kits". More>>
By: Diana Johnsen firstname.lastname@example.org On your mark…get set...paddle! About 130 kayakers took to the Missouri River in the "3rd Annual South Dakota Kayak Challenge" on Saturday. "It's an opportunityMore>>
About 130 kayakers took to the Missouri River in the "3rd Annual South Dakota Kayak Challenge" on Saturday.More>>
By: Hollie Hojek email@example.com Rain, rain go away, come back and other weekend but this one. The rain in the forecast isn't ruining everyone's plan, but it is keeping some campers away. The sunMore>>
Siouxland Campgrounds Still Packing in the People Despite Poor Weekend WeatherMore>>
By: Tim Seaman firstname.lastname@example.org On Thursday, a pretty cool relay put on by law enforcement officers from across the state ran through central Iowa for the Special Olympics Torch Run. The event helpsMore>>
When the torch arrived Sioux City West sophomore JJ Reeg–Beckner had the honor of igniting the Special Olympic cauldron. Reeg-Beckner was selected from more than 2,500 athletes to finish the run.More>>
By: Channel 9 Eyewitness News (AP) About 110,300 South Dakotans are expected to travel over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a slight decline from last year. AAA says that mirrors an expected dropMore>>
About 110,300 South Dakotans are expected to travel over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a slight decline from last year.More>>
By: Channel 9 Eyewitness News (AP) Nebraska students showed improvement in this year's statewide writing proficiency test. Nebraska Education Commissioner Roger Breed announced Friday that 66 percentMore>>
Nebraska students showed improvement in this year's statewide writing proficiency test.
Nebraska Education Commissioner Roger Breed announced Friday that 66 percent of 8th graders met or exceeded state standards, a 2 percent increase over the previous year.More>>
By Channel 9 Eyewitness News email@example.com Iowa investigators say the discovery of blood of a missing 15-year-old girl has diminished hope of finding her alive. Bill Kietzman of the Iowa DivisionMore>>
15-year old Kathlynn Shepard went missing on Monday.More>>
By: Scott Larson firstname.lastname@example.org How comfortable do you feel strolling the streets in Sioux City? That's a question that the Blue Zones Project is asking. And today they brought in an expert toMore>>
Walkable and Livable Communities Institute's Dan Burden assists Sioux City & Blue Zones Project with working out more pedestrian friendly roads.More>>
A new strain of stomach bug sweeping the globe is taking over in the U.S., health officials say.
Since September, more than 140 outbreaks in the U.S. have been caused by the new Sydney strain of norovirus. It may not be unusually dangerous; some scientists don't think it is. But it is different, and many people might not be able to fight off its gut-wrenching effects.
Clearly, it's having an impact. The new strain is making people sick in Japan, Western Europe, and other parts of the world. It was first identified last year in Australia and called the Sydney strain.
In the U.S., it is now accounting for about 60 percent of norovirus outbreaks, according to report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Norovirus — once known as Norwalk virus — is highly contagious and often spreads in places like schools, cruise ships and nursing homes, especially during the winter. Last month, 220 people on the Queen Mary II were stricken during a Caribbean cruise.
Sometimes mistakenly called stomach flu, the virus causes bouts of vomiting and diarrhea for a few days.
Every two or three years, a new strain evolves — the last was in 2009. The Sydney strain's appearance has coincided with a spike in influenza, perhaps contributing to the perception that this is a particularly bad flu season in the U.S.
Ian Goodfellow, a prominent researcher at England's University of Cambridge, calls norovirus 'the Ferrari of viruses' for the speed at which it passes through a large group of people.
"It can sweep through an environment very, very quickly. You can be feeling quite fine one minute and within several hours suffer continuous vomiting and diarrhea," he said.
Health officials have grown better at detecting new strains and figuring out which one is the culprit. They now know that norovirus is also the most common cause of food poisoning in the U.S.
It's spread by infected food handlers who don't do a good job washing their hands after using the bathroom. But unlike salmonella and other foodborne illnesses, norovirus can also spread in the air, through droplets that fly when a sick person vomits.
"It's a headache" to try to control, said Dr. John Crane, a University of Buffalo infectious disease specialist who had to deal with a norovirus outbreak in a hospital ward a couple of years ago.
Each year, noroviruses cause an estimated 21 million illnesses and 800 deaths, the CDC says.
For those infected, there's really no medicine. They just have to ride it out for the day or two of severe symptoms, and guard against dehydration, experts said.
The illness even got the attention of comedian Stephen Colbert, who this week tweeted: "Remember, if you're in public and have the winter vomiting bug, be polite and vomit into your elbow."