New form of norovirus may explain increased severity of infections (alert)

Recent research has identified a new norovirus that has genetic changes that might explain the global increase in norovirus activity. For example, England and Wales have estimated that there were approximately 1 million infections in 2012. One explanation for the heightened activity may be that the changes in this particular norovirus strain may mean that the immunity built up in some populations may not be effective any longer and that illness may be more severe.

Travellers can reduce the risk of exposure to norovirus by taking all necessary precautions to avoid contaminated food and water. Travellers should be aware that this group of viruses may persist for some time on inanimate objects such as banisters, door knobs and other surfaces touched by ill persons. Good personal hygiene, especially hand washing, helps to reduce the risk of exposure and infection.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Norovirus.

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