'Mutant strain' may be behind worst gastro outbreak in years

HEALTH officials are scrambling to find out if a mutant strain of a gastro virus is behind a surge in outbreaks in children and the elderly across NSW.

Rotavirus is a common cause of gastroenteritis for babies and preschool children and is passed from person to person by touching contaminated hands or faeces.

More than 1300 cases of the highly contagious virus have been recorded by NSW Health this year, with 412 of these recorded last month - the worst outbreak since 2012.

The health department is exploring why the virus hit with such a vengeance this year, saying it may have mutated - making more people susceptible to infection.

Despite a surge in infant vaccinations against the virus, the vaccine is only 70 per cent effective in preventing infection.

Topics:  editors picks gastro outbreak health hospital

News Corp Australia

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Rhonda McLucas going coast to coast across the UK for a cure

ROCKY ROAD: Gatton Real Estate principal Rhonda McLucas undertook the West Highland Way walk in 2017.

Rhonda McLucas is taking on the Coast to Coast Walk for a cause.

Awarded for passion

DEDICATION RECOGNISED: Lockyer District State High teacher Belinda Try, centre, holds her Certificate of Commendation that she was presented at a ceremony in Brisbane.

Teacher's passion and leadership recognised

Fifth-generation Brimblecombe takes over the family farm

RUNNING THE SHOW: Forest Hill farmer Mitch Brimblecombe inspects a newly planted crop.

Forest Hill farmer Mitch Brimblecombe is running the family farm.

Local Partners