- Fiona Collins
- Mar 13, 2013
Norovirus is the virus many of us may be familiar with and might associate with occasional outbreaks of gastroenteritis reported on cruise ships. In reality, however, direct transmission of norovirus occurs rapidly in other busy places too such as schools and hotels as well and it is also transmitted through eating raw contaminated food or foods or drinks that became contaminated during handling. Norovirus can also be transmitted through indirect contact with contaminated surfaces. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), just over 6% of the US population suffers from norovirus-related gastroenteritis annually. It also results in tens of thousands of hospitalization each year and around 800 deaths. The latest strain of norovirus, the Sydney strain, was reported by the CDC to have been transmitted in 78% of cases in restaurants and long-term care facilities.
Proper, frequent hand hygiene is recommended to prevent the risk of cross-contamination and disease transmission, and the sharing of contaminated inanimate objects between a person ill with norovirus and other people should be avoided. Contaminated inanimate surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected. Staying home and avoiding contact with others when you are ill helps to prevent the spread of norovirus. To avoid contaminating food and drink, the CDC also recommends that, while ill, an individual with norovirus-related gastroenteritis should not prepare food destined for other individuals nor for three days after becoming well.