Earlier this year, a hospital in Pennsylvania witnessed an outbreak that appeared to occur both from within with existing patients and from people being admitted from the community. Across the country in Montana, an outbreak earlier this month of norovirus was suspected in causing approximately 200 students at a Montana elementary school to become sick. The illness resulted in almost half of the school’s students staying home sick in a single day.
Noroviruses are a group of related, single-stranded RNA, non-enveloped viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis in humans. Noroviruses are members of a group of viruses called caliciviruses, previously known as Norwalk-Like viruses. In the United States, the CDC estimates that more than 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis are due to norovirus infections each year.
Noroviruses are transmitted primarily through the fecal-oral route, either by consumption of fecally contaminated food or water or by direct person-to-person contact. Environmental and fomite contamination may also act as a source of infection. Evidence exists for transmission due to aerosolization of vomitus that presumably results in droplets contaminating surfaces or entering the oral mucosa in people.
“Norovirus outbreaks can be devastating in both terms of human suffering and the resulting economic impact to society and businesses,”
SEHC recently sponsored a public outreach video about noroviruses that can be seen at:
To learn more about preventing infectious microbial pathogens, or other environmental and IAQ issues, please visit http://www.sussexenvironmental.com, email susan.white@
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About Sussex Environmental Health Consultants, LLC
SEHC is a certified woman owned business that provides environmental and health and safety consulting services. The company is located in the Mid-Atlantic and services customers nationwide. SEHC provides solutions to clients ranging from homeowners to international Fortune 500 corporations.