Source Pravda.Ru

Norovirus or "vomiting virus" engulfes New York City

Norovirus attacks New York City. The total number of patients with its symptoms makes up about 500 cases a day compared to a typical daily average of 300.

Norovirus is a genus of viruses of the family Caliciviridae. Recent scientific findings reveal that the genus causes around 50% of all gastroenteritis (stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting) around the world. It is considered the most important group of viruses associated with this condition. In fact, the genus was once referred to as Norwalk virus group or Norwalk-like viruses. Today, Norovirus may popularly refer either to the entire group of viruses or just Norwalk .

An outbreak of "vomiting virus" was marked in December, 2007 in northern California where around 80-100 people got sick. Two new GII.4 variants caused around 80% of those Norovirus associated outbreaks and they have been termed 2006a and 2006b. Now the virus attacks New York City and Connecticut , where the outbreak promoted officials to close all five public schools.

The infection was also traced on ships. In early December 2007, the virus infected approximately 10% of the passengers and crew aboard Norwegian Cruise Line Pearl out of Miami . There was a similar accommodation for passengers on this ship by NCL.

The symptoms of the disease are the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. General lethargy, weakness, muscle aches, headache, and low-grade fever may occur. Symptoms may persist for several days and may become life-threatening in the young, the elderly, and the immune-compromised if dehydration is ignored or not treated.

Hand washing remains an effective method to reduce the spread of Norovirus pathogens. Norovirus can be aerosolized when those stricken with the illness vomit. Surface sanitizing is recommended in areas where the Norovirus may be present on surfaces.