Did you know?
The Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that Norovirus results in 19-21 million illness, 56-71,000 hospitalizations and 57-800 deaths each year.
What is Norovirus?
Single stranded RNA virus that have recently been classified in the family Caliciviridae, genus Norovirus. These highly infectious enteric virus are a major cause of acute gastroenteritis in human (The infection is often called viral gastroenteritis)
Possible causes of Norovirus Infection:
In spite of the fact that many cases of Norovirus infection caused by person to person spread, the infestation of contaminated food or water also plays a significant part in their transmission
Identification of Norovirus:
The prototype norovirus was first identified as the cause of gastroenteritis outbreak in Norwalk, Ohio, in 1968. But, the epidemiology of noroviruses remained poorly characterized until relatively recently because of the lack of widespread availability sensitive diagnostic methods
The trend and outbreaks:
Norovirus associated deaths
The number of U.S Hospitalization for norovirus illness is consistently higher in winter months. Hospitalizations for norovirus were higher in winder 2002-2003 and 2006-2007, when a pandemic virus strain emerged
Norovirus associated hospitalizations
The number of U.S hospitalizations for norovirus illness is consistently higher in winter months. Hospitalizations for norovirus were higher in winder 2002-2003 and 2006-2007, when a pandemic virus strain emerged
Norovirus associated emergency department visits
The number of visit to a U.S urgent care or emergency department for norovirus illness is consistently higher in winter months. Emergency department visits for norovirus were higher in winter 2002-2003 and 2006-2007, when a pandemic virus strain emerged
Norovirus associated outpatient visit:
The number of visits to a U.S medical office or clinic for norovirus illness is consistently higher in winter months. Outpatient visits for norovirus were higher in winter 2002-2003 and 2006-2007 when a pandemic virus strain emerged
NoroStat data table:
Suspected and confirmed Norovirus Outbreaks Reported by state health departments in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennesse, and Wisconsin to the National Outbreak Reporting system by week of illness onset .2009-20015
Produce, shellfish, Ready –to-eat foods touched by infected foods workers (Salads, Sandwiches, Ice cookies, Fruit), or any other foods contaminated with vomit or feces from an infected person
Signs and Symptoms of Norovirus:
The typical signs and symptoms of Norovirus infection are:
- Abdominal pain /cramps
- Low-grade fever
- Muscle pain
The symptoms normally beings 24-48 hours after exposure and usually last one to three days. Kindly note that some people with norovirus show no signs or symptoms but are still contagious & may spread it to others
How to prevent Norovirus:
One of the interesting fact is that norovirus doesn’t multiply in food, since it is a virus and not a bacterium. At the same time the only way to assure you don’t get norovirus from foods like shelf life is to cook them thoroughly.
Here some of the tips to prevent Norovirus infections:
- Proper hand washing is an absolute best way to prevent norovirus. Remember, always wash your hands before and after using bathroom, changing diapers.
- Before preparing/ eating/ handling food, any whenever you are in contact with common surfaces that carry germs
When you are sick, don’t prepare food for others:
- Don’t prepare food for other while you are sick and for at least 2 to 3 days after you recover.
- Did you know? About 50 % of all outbreaks of food related illness are cause by norovirus. In many of these cases, sick food handlers were involved in spreading the virus
- Wash fruits and vegetable thoroughly before eating them. Fresh produce, primarily leafy vegetables like spinach, are most often involved in norovirus foodborne illness outbreak
- Food product like oysters and shellfish must be cooked thoroughly before eating. Noroviruses are relatively resistant and able to survive quick steaking processes that are often used for cooking shellfish as well as temperature as high as 60 Degree Celsius
Clean contaminated surface after throwing up or having diarrhea:
- Use a chlorine bleach solution with concentration of 1000-5000ppm ( 5-25 tablespoons bleach per 3.7 litre of water ) or an EPA registered norovirus disinfectant
Wash laundry thoroughly:
- For any clothes or linens that may be contaminated with vomit or stool, remove and wash them immediately. Remember to wear gloves when handling soiled laundry
Reference and source: