New strain of norovirus spreading worldwide

A new strain of norovirus that was first detected in Australia has spread to France, New Zealand and Japan. This strain is rapidly replacing all other strains in Britain and Wales where more than a million estimated cases of norovirus have occurred this winter. The Australian version does not cause any worse symptoms than other strains, and like all the other strains, it cause violent and projectile vomiting, diarrhoea and sometimes fevers, headaches and stomach cramps.

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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