DL-996: Norovirus: Traveler’s Diarrhea and Much More Lucy Treagan, Ph.D. - Prof. Biol. Emerita - University of San Francisco Approved for 2.0 CE Level of Difficulty: Intermediate CAMLT is approved by the California Department of Public Health as a CA CLS Accrediting Agency (#21) An epidemic of gastroenteritis took place in an elementary school in Norwalk, Ohio in 1968. Clinical samples that originated from this epidemic were eventually demonstrated to contain virus-like particles (the Norwalk agent). In the 1990s the genome of Norwalk agent was sequenced and the agent assigned to a new genus, Norovirus, in the Caliciviridae family. Noroviruses are small, icosahedral, single-stranded RNA viruses. They are easily transmitted by the oral–fecal route through food, water, fomites, and person-to person. These viruses are highly infectious and cause outbreaks of gastroenteritis on cruise ships, in nursing homes, schools, camps, and in many additional settings. The illness is generally mild and self-limited but may be severe in immunocompromised persons and in the elderly. The outbreaks are difficult to control due to high infectivity and ease of transmission of noroviruses. Noroviruses are also important causative agents of sporadic gastroenteritis within communities, as well as playing an important causative role in diarrheal diseases that are common among travelers to developing countries (travelers’ diarrhea).
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