Highly contagious: norovirus also in germany

A new variant of norovirus, called Sydney 2012, could infect many more people in Europe this year than it has in past waves of illnesses. In this context, the NoroNet association, a global coalition of infection experts, warns of an increased risk of infection, as reported by the news magazine Focus.

Because of the composition of the virus, it is likely that many fewer people will be immune to the vomiting diarrhea pathogen, it said. The virus has already appeared sporadically in Europe, with available data from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, he said. Last year, according to the Robert Koch Institute for Germany, there were 100.000 cases of patients who had contracted the norovirus.

The health authorities are therefore warning of the consequences of infection. Especially in the winter months, the pathogens accumulate. Transmission is mainly oral, which explains the rapid spread of the pathogen, especially in community settings such as hospitals or nursing homes. Infections can come from contaminated food and drinks prepared with contaminated water.On a Caribbean cruise on the Queen Mary 2 on 31. December 2012, nearly 200 passengers and crew members were infected with the virus, just under eight percent of the total number of passengers, reports the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The disease is characterized by nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Sporadic abdominal pain, headache, aching limbs and fever may also occur. One to two days after infection, there is an outbreak of illness that can last up to three days.

Transmission of the virus can also occur through clothing or door handles. The health department therefore advises to pay attention to the appropriate hygiene rules. The spread of the virus can be contained by regular hand washing and avoiding physical contact with infected persons. Laundry should be boiled.

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