A new strain of a vomiting bug spurred the most cases of gastroenteritis in a decade in Victoria.
The new strain of norovirus, the most common cause of outbreaks of non-bacterial gastroenteritis, pushed medical consultations for tummy upsets up by about 70 percent last year, the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory said in a report today.
"The total count of gastroenteritis consultations in 2012 was the highest in the last 10 years with increases observed across all age groups," the Melbourne-based laboratory said.
An increase in norovirus outbreaks and illness has been reported in the UK, Australia, France and New Zealand due to the emergence of a new variant of genotype II.4, dubbed Sydney 2012. "It is unclear yet whether this is normal seasonal activity or an actual increase in incidence," according to the report.