High Index of Suspicion for Norovirus to Contain Potential Outbreaks in Long-Term Care | Annals of Long Term Care
“Keep norovirus on top of your differential diagnosis,” advised Tae Joon Lee, MD, CMD, whose facility had to temporarily ban admissions after a December 2008 outbreak.
Because norovirus is not a reportable illness in the United States, precise estimates of the incidence of outbreaks are not available.
New 2011 healthcare facility guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) contain recommendations to prevent or contain norovirus outbreaks in healthcare settings.
Norovirus is the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in older nursing home residents. Although more common in the winter, “it’s here year round,” said David A. Nace, MD, MPH, CMD.
The virus can be spread by person-to-person contact, excretions (feces, vomitus), contaminated surfaces, aerosolized particles, and contaminated food.