Daily Brief: 2017.3.20
Norovirus Outbreak in California
A small school district in California has been hit with hundreds of cases of norovirus. According to the Rio School District Superintendent 500 cases of norovirus were reported at all eight of its schools over the course of nine days. The surge in cases seems contained to the school district.
(Sources: CBS News, Ventura County Star)
Norovirus is a very contagious and can infect anyone. An individual may become sick with norovirus following contact with an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus can cause inflammation of the stomach, intestines or both. This inflammation leads to have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms can be serious for some people, especially young children and older adults.
(Sources: Science Daily, ISDH)
Each year, it is estimated that, on average in the United states, norovirus causes 19–21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis. Furthermore, norovirus reportedly leads to 1.7 – 1.9 million outpatient visits, 400,000 emergency department visits, 56,000 – 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 – 800 deaths.
- Healthcare professionals are encouraged to follow hand-hygiene guidelines, and carefully wash hands with soap and water after contact with patients with norovirus infection.
- Healthcare personnel should wear gowns and gloves when in contact with, or caring for patients who are symptomatic with norovirus.
- Healthcare workers should routinely clean and disinfect high touch patient surfaces and equipment with an Environmental Protection Agency-approved product with a label claim for norovirus.