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Stomach bug sweeping globe

NEW YORK — A new strain of stomach bug sweeping the globe is taking over in the United States, officials say.

Since September, more than 140 outbreaks across the country have been caused by the new Sydney strain of norovirus. It may not be unusually dangerous, but it is different, and many people might not be able to fight off its gut-wrenching effects.

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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 United States, 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 is highly contagious and often spreads in places like schools, cruise ships, and nursing homes, especially during the winter.

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