ST. PAUL, Minn. — Health officials say Minnesota is getting hit by a new strain of norovirus, the most common cause of sudden intestinal illness.

And they warned Tuesday that this could mean more norovirus illnesses this winter.

The Minnesota Department of Health says the new strain caused many outbreaks in Asia last winter before arriving in America. It showed up in sporadic cases in Minnesota earlier this year, and the state recorded its first outbreak from it last week.

Foodborne disease epidemiologist Amy Saupe says it's not known yet if the new strain will mean more increased reports of outbreaks, but it could. She says meticulous about hand washing and handling food properly may limit the impact.

Illness caused by norovirus is often mistakenly called "stomach flu" but it's not related to influenza.