Monday December 17, 2018

Stomach Virus Creates Headache for Olympic Officials

More than 100 people have come down with the dreaded stomach bug, and South Korean Olympic organizers quarantined more than 1,000 workers after some tested positive for it

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The norovirus can also be passed on through contaminated food and water, if the person handling it has the virus, or gets faecal matter on the food or in a drink. Wikimedia Commons
The norovirus can also be passed on through contaminated food and water, if the person handling it has the virus, or gets faecal matter on the food or in a drink. Wikimedia Commons
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A norovirus at the Pyeongchang Olympics means athletes might have more to worry about than just going for the gold.

More than 100 people have come down with the dreaded stomach bug, and South Korean Olympic organizers quarantined more than 1,000 workers after some tested positive for it.

The organizers called in police officers to take over from the quarantined workers after some tested positive for the norovirus, which causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Dr Cynthia Sears, an infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, spoke to VOA by Skype.

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“Norovirus is a virus that’s exceptionally contagious. It can be spread by simply touching surfaces,” she said.

Norovirus can survive for days or even weeks on a variety of surfaces. And, Sears says, it only takes a small amount of the virus to infect someone.

The virus spreads quickly between people, especially in close quarters like cruise ships and nursing homes. Wikimedia Commons
The virus spreads quickly between people, especially in close quarters like cruise ships and nursing homes. Wikimedia Commons

“It can be spread by vomiting because it can aerosolize to some extent. People can pick up enough that way,” she said. “It can be spread through the stool (faecal matter) if you accidentally get a few faeces on something.”

The virus spreads quickly between people, especially in close quarters like cruise ships and nursing homes. It can spread wherever there are crowds.

The norovirus can also be passed on through contaminated food and water, if the person handling it has the virus, or gets faecal matter on the food or in a drink.

Also Read: Pollution, the silent killer in metros; 35 per cent children in India have poor lung capacity

Symptoms normally last for a few days, but afterwards, the sickness causes fatigue.

The antidote is cleanliness. If food preparation surfaces are disinfected and the food is cooked thoroughly, the virus’s ability to survive is reduced.

The best defence is lots of handwashing and disinfecting any surfaces that might be contaminated, especially kitchens and bathrooms, and keeping your fingers away from your face. (VOA)

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Viral Outbreak In Pediatric Facility Takes Another Person

Over the past decade, severe illness and death from type 7 adenovirus have been reported in the United States

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Police cruisers are parked near the entrance of the Wanaque Center for Nursing And Rehabilitation in Haskell, N.J., where New Jersey health officials have confirmed 28 cases of adenovirus. VOA

A 10th person died amid a viral outbreak at a pediatric care center while a different strain of the virus was found at another facility in the state, New Jersey health officials said Thursday.

The state Health Department confirmed in a statement that the “medically fragile child” at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation had the adenovirus infection.

There have been 28 cases associated with the respiratory virus at the center, where the affected children had severely compromised immune systems. One of those who died was a young adult.

“The loss of these young lives is heartbreaking, and our thoughts are with the families who are affected,” Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a statement.

 

New Jersey, Virus
AdenoVirus

 

The state also said there were four confirmed adeno virus cases among pediatric patients at Voorhees Pediatric Facility, near Philadelphia, but preliminary tests have ruled out it’s the same strain affecting Wanaque.

The department said it’s working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor the illness and announced earlier this week that infection control teams were being sent to New Jersey’s four long-term pediatric centers to help with training.

Officials have said there is not a wider public health concern stemming from the outbreak.

New patients are not being admitted at Wanaque.

The department also said Thursday that the illness was last detected on Tuesday. The previous date had been Monday. But, the department said, that’s not a surprise since the disease has a long incubation period of up to two weeks.

The outbreak won’t be considered over until four weeks without a new illness goes by.

New Jersey, Virus
Ten children have died as a result of a severe viral outbreak in the ventilator unit of a long-term care center in Wanaque.

Little risk, usually

Adenovirus usually poses little risk for healthy people. It can cause mild cold or flu symptoms, and some strains also cause diarrhea and pink eye.

The virus strain found in the Wanaque rehab center outbreak is called type 7 and is among the more potent types. It sometimes causes more serious respiratory illness, especially among those with weak immune systems.

Elnahal had earlier said all the cases of the outbreak occurred in a respiratory, or ventilator, unit. The department has since said one staff member became ill but has recovered.

The identities of those who died and the affected patients have not been disclosed.

Also Read: Paralysis Causing Illness In Children Baffles Doctors

Over the past decade, severe illness and death from type 7 adenovirus have been reported in the United States, according to the CDC, but it’s unclear how many have died from it.

The CDC cited a 2001 scientific paper that reported a 1998 outbreak of type 7 at a facility in Chicago that left eight patients dead. The paper said civilian outbreaks were not frequently reported because of a lack of lab resources. (VOA)