Norovirus – New Zealand

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1 confirmed case and 4 suspected cases of tummy bug norovirus at Palmerston North Hospital in New Zealand. In addition, 14 staff members felt ill with possible symptoms of norovirus.

The source of the outbreak is unknown but norovirus has been found to be transmitted via contaminted foods or drinks or contact with an infected person. Some symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pains.

The hospital ward has stopped admitting new patients and only patients that could go to their home are being discharged.

Photo: Norovirus particles electron micrograph.

Norovirus, sometimes referred to as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common cause of gastroenteritis.

Infection is characterized by non-bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Fever or headaches may also occur. Symptoms usually develop 12 to 48 hours after being exposed, and recovery typically occurs within 1 to 3 days.

This may be through contaminated food or water or person-to-person contact. Risk factors include unsanitary food preparation and sharing close quarters.

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