Norovirus food-poisoning outbreak in Beijing ongoing

As reported by China’s official Xinhua News Agency, Beijing reported 166 cases of norovirus in the first quarter of this year, and according to local health authorities this outbreak is likely to ongoing.

WebMD Norovirus

Outbreak in Beijing

“Of the 166 cases, 82 were in kindergartens, 69 in primary schools, nine in middle schools, four in colleges, one in a restaurant and one at home.”

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised that kindergartens and schools in Beijing be disinfected, and the health of students closely monitored as new cases emerge.

Norovirus facts

Norovirus, also sometimes referred to as “the winter vomiting bug,” is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in humans. It affects people of all ages, and can be transmitted by fecally contaminated food or water, by person-to-person contact, and via aerosolization of vomited virus and subsequent contamination of surfaces.

Norovirus infection is characterized by nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in some cases, loss of taste. A person usually develops symptoms of gastroenteritis 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. General lethargy, weakness, muscle aches, headaches, and low-grade fevers may occur. After infection, immunity to norovirus is usually incomplete and temporary, with one publication drawing the conclusion that protective immunity to the same strain of norovirus lasts for six months, but that all such immunity is gone after two years.

The disease is usually self-limiting, and severe illness is rare. Although having norovirus can be unpleasant, it is not usually dangerous and most who contract it make a full recovery within two to three days. The annual number of diarrhea-associated events in outpatients is estimated at 7.7 million in industrialized countries, with 500,000 hospitalizations; and 9.0 million hospitalizations in developing countries, with nearly 2 million deaths. Outbreaks of norovirus infection often occur in closed or semi-closed communities, such as long-term care facilities, overnight camps, hospitals, schools, prisons, clubs, dormitories, and cruise ships, where the infection spreads very rapidly either by person-to-person transmission or through contaminated food. Many norovirus outbreaks have been traced to food that was handled by one infected person.

On surfaces, norovirus is rapidly inactivated by either sufficient heating or by chlorine-based disinfectants and polyquaternary amines, but the virus is less susceptible to alcohols and detergents.

One Response to “Norovirus food-poisoning outbreak in Beijing ongoing”

  1. yihuanghou
    April 19, 2017 at 9:27 am #


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