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Infectious Disease Lifestyle

Reusable Grocery Bag Implicated in Norovirus Outbreak

7 years, 1 month ago

1623  0
Posted on Jun 07, 2012, 6 a.m.

Outbreak of a stomach bug in Oregon (US) is traced to a reusable open top grocery bag stored in a hotel bathroom.

Noroviruses are a leading cause of gastroenteritis worldwide and the most common cause of foodborne outbreaks in the United States. Highly contagious, even in low concentrations, the viruses spread efficiently from feces and vomit by direct contact or by indirect transmission from viral contamination of surfacesKimberly K. Repp, from the  Oregon Health and Sciences University (Oregon, USA), and colleagues investigated an outbreak in a group of 17 Oregon girls, 13-14 years old, and their four adult chaperones attending a soccer tournament in Washington state. The team mapped the trail of the norovirus outbreak to a reusable open top grocery bag stored in a hotel bathroom. Writing that: “Airborne contamination … can lead to subsequent point-source outbreaks,” the study authors urge for: “the need for adequate environmental sanitation of surfaces …  to prevent spread.”

Kimberly K. Repp, William E. Keene.  “ A Point-Source Norovirus Outbreak Caused by Exposure to Fomites.”  J Infect Dis. (2012) 205(11): 1639-1641, May 8, 2012.

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