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Food Bourne Pathogens: Norovirus - Research Paper Example

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Food Bourne Pathogens – Norovirus Introduction The Norovirus belongs to the Caliciviridae family of viruses, which consists of small non-enveloped, icosahedral viruses that pose a risk of infection in to a wide range of hosts, which includes humans (LoBue, 2008)…
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Food Bourne Pathogens: Norovirus
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Download file to see previous pages Route of Infection The route of infection of Noroviruses is the same as with other enteric viruses. This means that spread of Noroviruses infection occurs directly from person to person or indirectly through the environment (Maunula & Von Bonsdorff, 2011). Being an enteric virus transmission of Norovirus takes place through the fecal-oral route. Thus contamination of the environment can occur through an infected person touching environmental surfaces without proper cleansing of hands. In addition, transmission can occur through food and water contamination by an infected individual or food handlers, or the aerosol spray of the vomit. Recreational and drinking water are also high on the list for contamination through infected individuals, leading to spread of the disease. Filter feeding shellfish can be contaminated by the virus, and consumption of these shellfish can cause transmission of the virus (Logan & O’Sullivan, 2008). Till the end of the twentieth century person to person contamination was considered to be the main route of transmission accounting for between 70% and 90% of infections, while the environmental route accounted for the rest. In the new millennium new GII: 4 virus variants have been found. Its strong impact in Noroviruses infections has enhanced the focus of the spread of the infection to the environment, with particular emphasis of outbreaks in institutions (Maunula & Von Bonsdorff, 2011). Real Life Outbreak in the United States The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) was informed by the local university on October 3, 2008 that of their approximately 32,000 students, a minimum of 30 students had visited the university student health center or local emergency departments reporting symptoms of gastroenteritis that was typical of a Norovirus infection. Evaluation by LACDPH found that the infection onsets were between the period of September 24 and October 13, and that 478 students or 1.5% of the students were infected by Norovirus. Duration of the symptoms averaged between two to four days, with no mortality (Roberts et al, 2009). Clinical Symptoms, Duration, and Treatment Clinical symptoms of Norovirus infection are stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, body ache, head ache, and fatigue (Roberts et al, 2009). Normally a Norovirus infection lasts for two to four days and goes away, however when novel variants of the virus are responsible for the outbreak, which is on the increase, the consequences can be longer and more severe, including death (Maunula & Von Bonsdorff, 2011). No antiretroviral medications have yet been developed, and so treatment for Norovirus infections is essentially supportive, through rest and oral or intravenous rehydration (Sunenshine, Yee & McDonald, 2007). Prevention The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidelines for the prevention of Norovirus infections. Critical to prevention of the infection is the avoidance of exposure to the stools and vomit of the infected person. Infected patients should if possible be retained in single-room isolation. Anyone entering the room of the patient should use personal protective equipment consisting of gloves, gowns, and face masks. In the case of outbreaks any individual demonstrating the symptoms of a Norovirus infection should be placed under such restrictions. Health care staff developing illness should be excluded from work and allowed to return only after a period of two days after remission of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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