Health Buzz: Sydney Strain of Norovirus Hits U.S.

VIDEO: Apolo Ohno talks with U.S. News; what my yoga instructor taught me about food

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A New Strain of Stomach Bug From Overseas Now Spreads Across U.S.

As this year's intense flu season continues, another type of virus is spreading through the country. A new strand of the norovirus stomach bug that's already sickened people in Japan, Western Europe, and elsewhere, has made its way to the states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday. The bug—called the Sydney strain because it was first identified in Australia—has been the cause of more than 140 outbreaks since September, CBS News reports. People who get the bug experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain for one to three days, and it can be particularly risky for children and the elderly. If someone you know has these symptoms, understand that the virus is extremely contagious. To steer clear of the norovirus's path, the CDC report says, "Proper hand hygiene, environmental disinfection, and isolation of ill persons remain the mainstays of norovirus prevention and control."

VIDEO: U.S. News Talks With Apolo Ohno

Apolo Ohno had the symptoms, but not the diagnosis: Shortness of breath. Wheezing. An overall decrease in athletic performance.

Ohno, of course, is an eight-time speedskating gold medalist, and the most decorated American winter athlete of all time. But as he was wowing the world on the ice, he was suffering from exercise-induced bronchospasm, or a temporary narrowing of the airways that produces extras mucus.

"I thought it was a byproduct of me being out of shape or not training enough," Ohno says, adding that he experienced a 35 percent decline in his normal breathing ability. "When I was diagnosed, I immediately saw an improvement in my performance and daily activities. It gave me internal confidence ... I didn't let it hamper me in any way."

Today, Ohno says he's passionate about staying active. In addition to two stints on Dancing With the Stars, he completed the New York City Marathon in 2012 in 3 hours, 25 minutes, and 14 seconds. And he counts skiing, mountain bike riding, and cycling among his favorite pastimes. [Watch and read more: VIDEO: U.S. News Talks With Apolo Ohno]

What My Yoga Instructor Taught Me About Food

Over the past year or so, I've been frequenting a local hot yoga studio, writes U.S. News blogger Melinda Johnson. It's one of the most intense workouts I've ever done, and I've developed a bit of an addiction to it. Hot yoga is basically a yoga class taught in a heated room—about 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most newcomers (including myself!) can have a hard time getting used to this type of exercise, and it often takes a few weeks before they can make it through an entire session without needing a break.

Because of the combination of an elevated heart rate, focused breathing, and balancing poses, it's essential that you have laser focus on the task at hand—if you let your mind wander, you'll find yourself falling out of poses. One thing that helps is staying focused on the instructor's voice as she delivers pointers on perfecting the various poses, sprinkled with reminders on keeping your attention within and listening to your body. Maybe it's the heat getting to my brain, but I'm frequently inspired to apply these yoga mantras to the way I talk about food. Consider a few of my favorites:

"Always listen to your body." In yoga, you're encouraged to take breaks when needed, and to not judge others when they do the same. In fact, taking a break is celebrated because you're honoring your body's request. How might we eat differently if we always checked in with our body first? [Read more: What My Yoga Instructor Taught Me About Food]

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