June 5, 2020

Norovirus Most Common Stomach Virus For Kids

Norovirus is the leading cause of intestinal illness among children, according to a new study by researchers in Texas. Rotavirus had previously been in the top spot, but the rotavirus vaccine slashed the prevalence of pediatric cases by 64 percent, the researchers found.

NorovirusThe researchers studied an eight and a half year span at the Texas Children’s Hospital surrounding the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine. After the vaccine, rotavirus cases were reduced by almost two thirds leaving norovirus in the top spot.

Norovirus causes frequent intense bouts of diarrhea and vomiting. Although it is not a flu virus, it is sometimes called the stomach flu, or winter vomiting disease, cruise ship virus or Norwalk. It is extremely contagious and is known to cause outbreaks in close quarters such as cruise ships, college dorms and nursing homes.  Norovirus season, when most norovirus illnesses occur,  is from November to April. About 21 million Americans are stricken with norovirus each year. About 800 cases annually are fatal.

About half of all food poisoning cases every year are attributed to nororvius  It takes only a few particles of the virus to cause illness which can live on surfaces touched by an infected person for some time.

The research team included Hoonmo L. Koo, Frederick H. Neill, Mary K. Estes, Flor M. Munoz, Arlin Cameron5, Herbert L. DuPont and Robert L. Atmar. The study appears in the current issue of the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.


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