Food Safety News / General / Microbiology / Outbreaks and related news

Norovirus Outbreak at the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village

Submitted by Amanda Everington-Nee:

A statement from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) has confirmed that a temporary toilet facility is the probable source of the recent outbreak of the highly contagious diarrhoea and vomiting bug Norovirus, at the Commonwealth Games athletes’ village.

A total of 53 members of the workforce have reported symptoms so far, although mild, with no cause for concern. You can read the full news story on the BBC News website here.

Norovirus is the most commonly reported enteric virus in the UK, it can survive in all kinds of environments, is not destroyed by alcohol based hand sanitisers and is highly infectious. The symptoms of infection, diarrhoea and vomiting, release tiny droplets into the air which settle on all exposed surfaces: door handles, worktops, beds. Half of those exposed to these micro-aerosols will also become sick (a “50% attack rate”.)

The only way to control Norovirus is with highly restrictive infection control procedures. Contaminated areas will need to be deep cleaned or sealed off. People need to be scrupulous with personal hygiene, and anyone suffering from symptoms needs to be isolated.

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