Norovirus? Look to the barf

We investigated an outbreak of norovirus that affected students and teachers of a high school in Lleida, Spain through various transmission mechanisms.

norovirus-2A case-control epidemiological study of the risk of disease and the relative importance of each mode of transmission was carried out. Cases and controls were selected from a systematic sample of students and teachers present at the school on 28 January. Fecal samples were taken from three food handlers and 16 cases. The influence of each factor was studied using the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) and the estimated population attributable risk (ePAR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). We interviewed 210 people (42 cases, 168 controls). The proportion of symptoms in these individuals was nausea 78·6%, vomiting 59·5%, diarrhoea 45·2%, and fever 19·0%. The epidemic curve showed transmission for at least 4 days. The risk of disease was associated with exposure to food (aOR 5·8) in 66·1% of cases and vomit (aOR 4·7) in 24·8% of cases. aecal samples from 11 patients and two food handlers were positive for norovirus GII.12 g.

Vomit may co-exist with other modes of transmission in norovirus outbreaks and could explain a large number of cases.

Norovirus gastroenteritis outbreak transmitted by food and vomit in a high school

Epidemiology and Infection / Volume 144 / Issue 09 / July 2016, pp 1951-1958Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016  DOI: (About DOI), Published online: 13 January 2016

Godoy, M. Alsedà, R. Bartolomé, D. Clavería, I. Módol, P. Bach, G. Mirada And À. Domínguez