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Mutant Strain Blamed For Worst Outbreak Of Gastro Since 2012

NSW Health are investigating whether this year's record-breaking number of gastroenteritis diagnoses may have been caused by a mutant strain of the virus.

The highly contagious illness has seen more than 1300 cases recorded since the beginning of the year, with 412 of those in the last month alone.

Officials are now wondering if a mutation of rotavirus may be behind the worst outbreak the state has seen since 2012.

It has also raised questions about the effectiveness of vaccinations against the virus; while the number of infants receiving immunisations for gastro has surged, it has since been revealed that it only prevents infection 70 per cent of the time.

"Immunity from the vaccine wanes over several years, so that every few years there will be sufficient numbers of people who did not gain protection from the vaccine, or have lost protection, to allow an outbreak to occur," a NSW Health spokesman said.

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