Friday, March 9, 2012

More on norovirus


There have been 38 reports in 2012 of outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness. Ten of these are confirmed norovirus; more than half are still pending investigation. The majority (20) of these reports have come from long-term care facilities, with 12 reports in daycare/school settings, and 6 in other types of facilities/events/unknown. All public health districts have seen at least one report of GI illness.

Norovirus infections typically increase during the winter months, and Maine CDC routinely receives reports of suspected and confirmed norovirus outbreaks each year. Public health partners are encouraged to consider norovirus when assessing clusters of gastroenteritis and to act promptly to prevent the spread of illness.

Noroviruses spread easily, causing more than 20 million gastroenteritis cases each year in the U.S. There's no vaccine to prevent norovirus infection and no drug to treat it. Wash your hands often and follow simple tips to stay virus-free.

For more information, see this health alert (http://go.usa.gov/QCD) or this US CDC feature (http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Norovirus/).

In addition, the 2011 Norovirus surveillance report is now available at: http://go.usa.gov/Pb4

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