Norovirus Outbreaks Worldwide

Norovirus Outbreaks WorldwideIn recent days, a virus that causes stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting has emerged. The virus commonly called the stomach flu by many started from an incident in Norwalk, Ohio wherein an outbreak of gastroenteritis in November 1968 occurred at a primary school that resulted to the uncovering of this new type of virus initially called Norwalk virus.

The virus was identified as a genus of the Caliciviridae family. Nowadays, Norwalk virus is popularly known as Norovirus referring to the entire group or just the Norwalk alone.

A number of outbreaks similar to the symptoms that were identified in Norwalk had been reported in many other parts of the world. Most of them are encountered in nursing homes, cruise ships, schools and some in communities when calamites occurred.

In 2002 alone, two thousand people were infected on a cruise ship. In 2004, one incident was reported in Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas infecting more than a thousands persons. Another large cruise ship, the Carnival Cruise Lines’ Liberty, had its passengers and crews ill with diarrhea.

Just recently in New Zealand, Auckland Hospital had isolated patients and staff members with stomach bug. In Indianapolis, a few hundreds were complaining of nausea and vomiting with diarrhea after eating at an Olive Garden restaurant. In Virginia, a hotel airport had closed at the end of the week in January 2007 after more than 100 people had been sick with Norovirus. An outbreak in QE2, a cruse liner docked in Acapulco, Mexico was declared under control by Center for Disease Control just after massive cleaning and sanitation.

In Houston, Texas, Norovirus struck after the rampage of Hurricane Katrina. Merely six wards were infected also by Norovirus in Queen Alexandra Hospital, England. A suspected mutation of Norovirus was also reported in Japan in 2006. Around 40 staff of the National Armed Forces of Latvia had been reported being ill with nausea and vomiting in 2005.

More and more recent cases have been reported all over the world until such time that this sickness must be informed to the public for proper guidance. Preventive measures must be taken immediately by every medical government agency.

Sometimes being called as winter vomiting disease, Norovirus which is mostly prevalent in England and Wales, has come into the path worldwide. Being commonly occurred in closed environment, the outbreak can easily be controlled immediately. With proper sanitation, the epidemic should not be a threat to the people and community.Joe is a free lancer writer of