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Norovirus Infection - Case Study Example

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This paper "Norovirus Infection" discusses Norovirus that belongs to the genus of caliciviruses. It is also known as the Norwalk virus. It was first identified in 1968 in 1968 in a school in Ohio, Norwalk from where it gets its name (Volk 1996)…
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Norovirus Infection
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Download file to see previous pages It contains genome linked protein. It is a non enveloped virus that replicates basically in the cytoplasm of the cell. It is an icosahedral with a size of approximately 27-40 nm. The norovirus also has cup-like depressions on its surface (Brooks et al 2004). The norovirus does not have a lipid outer layer and its structure consists of one protein which has a molecular weight of approximately 59000(Volk 1996). The norovirus possesses genetic variability and till now five subtypes of the virus have been identified. These include GI, GII, GIII, GIV, and GV. (CDC Gov)

The norovirus can occur in both adults and children. It is transmitted basically by the fecal-oral route, from one person to another, via cold foods as well as raw shellfish. The norovirus has a period of 1 to 2 days of incubation. After the lapse of 12 to 60 hours following the incubation period, nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea and pain in the abdomen are noted (Robbins et al 2005).

The norovirus has been associated with disease in groups of people and hence it is known to lead to epidemics. This disease-causing virus can lead to illness in people who stay together or in people who consume the same virus infected food (Levinson 2008). This virus has been associated with outbreaks in cruises, schools, hospitals, orphanages and nursing homes. In a five year study conducted in the United States from 1996 to 2000, norovirus infection was led in 39 percent of cases by food, 12 percent via person to person contact and, 3 percent by water and in 18 percent of the cases, the cause was unknown. In the same study, it was also shown that the disease was caused in 39 percent of the cases were related to restaurants, 29 percent of them were reported via hospitals and nursing homes, 10 percent in cruises and vaccination centers and only 9 percent were reported from other sources. (Brooks et al 2004 and CDC Gov)

The virus has many features that assist it in its easy spread. The virus is not killed on chlorination, drying in the environment and it is also resistant to heat temperatures as high as 60 degrees.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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