CDC warning of new highly contagious virus

The CDC is warning the public that a new highly contagious virus is spreading across the country.

Officials say those who are infected often confuse the virus with the flu, but it's important to know the difference.

A new strain of the norovirus is so strong this year, even some hand sanitizers and cleaning products aren't enough to kill it.

The CDC says the sydney strain of the norovirus is highly contagious, just a few drops from a sneeze or cough can travel through the air and infect a person in close proximity.

Officials say it's often called the stomach flu, but it's not the flu, therefore you aren't protected by any flu shot you may have received this year.

Experts say it's also much easier to catch the sydney norovirus. Doctors say it takes about 1,000 particles of the flu virus to make a person sick, but it only takes 18 particles of the sydney strain of norovirus to infect a person.

There is some good news if you did receive the flu vaccine.

"The good news is that the virus seen most often right now is one of the viruses that is contained in the flu vaccine, so it's very important for people to get vaccinated and it's still not too late to get vaccinated," said Denise Cory with the Vanderburgh County Health Department.

Children can receive a free flu shot at the Vanderburgh County Health Department, but that shot will likely only protect you from the strain of the respiratory flu that is going around, not the norovirus.

To schedule an appointment for a free flu shot for any child ages six months to 18 years of age, call the health department at 812-435-2400.

For more information from the CDC on the norovirus, click here.

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