In Maryland U.S.A., health officials revealed that on 17 May at least 200 kids attending the Pot Spring Elementary school got sick. Nine employees also got sick. Preliminary lab tests blame norovirus.
In Washington U.S.A., weeks later an outbreak continues. Back on 10 May Longview Elementary school was closed. Grant County Health District officials have confirmed it’s norovirus, and they’re warning that there are still “…pockets of students in other Moses Lake schools with stomach illnesses.”
In Iowa U.S.A., the Siouxland District Health Department concluded their investigating into what caused about three teachers and 80 students to get sick at the Bryant Elementary School. They blame norovirus.
A study published in the latest edition of the New England Journal of Medicine says norovirus will soon be the number one cause of gastroenteritis in children. Rotavirus was the number one cause, but that is on the decline since a vaccine was developed. There is no vaccine for norovirus.
According to the journal Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, norovirus is now the number one cause for gastroenteritis for children and adults in Canada. The study says one in eight Canadians will get norovirus every year. In the United States it’s now one in every six people!
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that meat based E.Coli (bacteria) caused gastroenteritis is down, by a lot. An overall drop of 44% from 2000 to 2010. It’s even better for ground beef (hamburger), a whopper, I mean a whopping 72% decline in E.Coli cases! The decline is being credited to better raising of beef cows, cleaner handling of meat at the slaughter houses, and better cooking practices by consumers.
In Southampton, Hampshire U.K., a Celebrity Cruises ship docked after a trip to the Mediterranean. It was revealed that at least 77 passengers and five crew members were sick with gastroenteritis. The cruise line says from now on passengers will be asked if they’ve had stomach problems within three days prior to the cruise. Customers can reschedule their cruises.
Norovirus has hit the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in Lancaster U.K. Visitation in Ward 37 is now restricted.
In Finland, a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health found that ‘open plan’ office work spaces not only result in less productivity, but they’re the main reason why office workers get sick! Open space office workers take 62% more sick days than office workers who have their own office. Studies by several U.S. and U.K. universities had similar conclusions.
In Galway, Ireland, a family recounted the death of their four years old daughter and gave a warning. At first everyone thought she was suffering a bad case of gastroenteritis, because of the symptoms. She died hours later in her fathers arms, after a doctor said it was just a tummy bug. Turned out it was an aggressive type of pneumococcal meningitis that rapidly progressed to septicemia (blood poisoning). Meningitis can result in flu like/stomach bug like symptoms, but it’s not the flu. You can visit the privately funded actformeningitis.ie for more info.