13
December
2012

Increase in Reported Norovirus Outbreaks in Colorado.

12/13/12, The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment announced that there is an Increase in Reported Norovirus Outbreaks in Colorado.

During October and November 2012 CDPHE noted a sharp increase in the number of reportedoutbreaks of suspected or confirmed norovirus or viral gastroenteritis, with 35 outbreaks reported during this two-month period. This includes outbreaks from all routes of transmission, including person-to-person, foodborne, environmental, and waterborne.

The 35 outbreaks reported this year during October and November occurred in the following settings: 28 (80%) in long-term care facilities; 3 (9%) in schools; 2 (6%) from a caterer; 1 (3%) at a hospital; and 1 (3%) at a restaurant.

As the norovirus season starts with higher than expected reported outbreaks, now is a good time for infection prevention staff to review infection prevention and control measures, as outlined in the CDPHE guidance document “Summary Guidelines for Investigation and Management of Norovirus Outbreaks in Healthcare and Residential Facilities,” located at:

http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDPHE-DCEED/CBON/1251607755294.

In preparation for what may be a busy season, CDPH&E recommends the following:

? Review and enforce employee sick leave policies

? Place ill residents on contact precautions quickly after onset of GI symptom (such as diarrhea or vomiting)

? Report outbreaks to your local public health agency or CDPHE as soon as an outbreak is suspected (even before laboratory confirmation of norovirus).

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your local public health agency, or the CDPHE