MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Rachel M. Burke, PhD, MPH
Epidemiologist, Viral Gastroenteritis Branch
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA 30329
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Noroviruses are the leading cause of vomiting and diarrhea from acute gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach or intestines) among people of all ages in the United States. Each year in the United States, norovirus illness is responsible for an estimated 19 to 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis, and contributes to 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths, mostly among children and the elderly.
CDC linked information from two different surveillance systems to analyze 3,747 norovirus outbreaks reported by health departments from 2009 to 2016. Our study provides a comprehensive description of norovirus outbreaks from the epidemiology and laboratory perspectives, using the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) and CaliciNet, respectively.
Norovirus outbreaks caused by GII.4 strains occurred more often in healthcare settings, affected older adults, and caused more severe illness, leading to hospitalization or death.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: GII.4 strains were the most commonly reported cause of norovirus outbreaks. Norovirus outbreaks caused by GII.4 strains occurred more often in healthcare settings, affected older adults, and caused more severe illness, leading to hospitalization or death
The best ways to protect against norovirus are to wash hands often; clean and disinfect surfaces with bleach; rinse fruits and vegetables and cook shellfish thoroughly before eating; and when sick, stay home and don’t prepare food for others until two days after symptoms stop.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: To prevent the most severe outcomes from norovirus, future vaccines should provide protection against GII.4, and potentially target individuals in healthcare settings.
Healthcare providers should be vigilant for possible severe outcomes from norovirus outbreaks in healthcare settings, outbreaks caused by GII.4, and when novel GII.4 strains emerge.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the CDC.
The Norovirus Epidemiologic Triad: Predictors of Severe Outcomes in US Norovirus Outbreaks, 2009–2016
Rachel M Burke; Minesh P Shah; Mary E Wikswo; Leslie Barclay; Anita Kambhampati …
The Journal of Infectious Diseases, jiy569, https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiy569
Published: 15 November 2018
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