Norovirus alert for New Zealand

Authorities have warned that the new norovirus strain may infect as many as 100,000 New Zealanders since there is little if any pre-existing immunity in the population. In large scale outbreaks in Britain, the virus has led to school closures. Dozens of hospital wards and aged-care facilities, cruise ships and workplaces have been affected. The new strain appears to cause a slightly worse case of nausea, vomiting and diarrhoae.

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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