Category Archives: Norovirus

Research – Norovirus most often responsible for foodborne outbreaks in Finland

Food Safety News norovirus-1080x655

More than 130 foodborne outbreaks were recorded in Finland between 2014 and 2016, according to a recent report.

Data comes from a register of foodborne and waterborne outbreaks maintained by the former Finnish Food Safety Authority (Evira) that became the Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto) at the beginning of this year.

The number of people infected from foodborne pathogens was 2,761 in 132 outbreaks. Forty-eight people needed hospital treatment. No deaths were reported.

Vegetables and meat common food sources
Norovirus remained the most common agent in foodborne outbreaks between 2014 and 2016. It was responsible for 42, or 32 percent, of such outbreaks.

RASFF Alerts – Norovirus – Live Oysters – Live Clams

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RASFF – norovirus (genogroup II) in live oysters from France in Spain

RASFF – norovirus (GI /2g) in live oysters (Crassostrea gigas) from France in Spain

RASFF – norovirus (GI and GII /2g) in live venus clams (Chamelea gallina) from Italy in Spain

Research – Investigators Discover Antibody Capable of Inhibiting Multiple Strains of Norovirus

Contagion Live

Food Borne Illness - Norovirus -CDC Photo

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A team of investigators has made a key discovery that could make a vaccine for the norovirus a reality.

A study published in the journal Immunity describes how a research team discovered an antibody that is capable of broadly inhibiting several strains of pandemic norovirus.

“In order to design an effective vaccine for norovirus, scientists needed to identify a neutralizing antibody that could work against many strains of the virus, as well as strains that will circulate in the future,” Ralph Baric, PhD, an author on the study, said in a press release. “This information can now be used to build better human vaccines.”

Human noroviruses are the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis and account for nearly 1 in 5 cases of diarrhea and vomiting. Estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that noroviruses cause approximately 200,000 deaths per year, which mostly occur in infants, children, and the elderly.

Although there are more than 30 genotypes of human norovirus, approximately 60% of outbreaks are caused by GII.4 genotype strains, which have caused periodic human pandemics.

The study team comprised investigators from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of Texas at Austin, and the National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center. The team says that the most important discovery of their research is that a human antibody can bind to a conserved region of the virus that is common in the various strains, potentially neutralizing all GII.4 strains of norovirus that exist in nature.

RASFF Alerts – Norovirus – Live Venus Clams

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RASFF – norovirus (GI and GII /2g) in live venus clams (Chamelea gallina) from Italy in Spain

RASFF – norovirus (GI, GII /2g) in live venus clams (Chamelea gallina) from Italy in Spain

USA – Norovirus sickens dozens in outbreak linked to bar drinks

Outbreak News Today norovirus-1080x655

Officials with the Benton-Franklin Health District in Kennewick, WA reported on the investigation of a norovirus outbreak linked to a local restaurant.

According to the timeline, health officials received the first reports over President’s Day weekend and at the conclusion of the investigation, 26 patrons of 3 Eyed Fish, a wine bar and restaurant in Richland were reported as infected.

In addition, the investigation revealed that drink garnishes were sometimes handled with bare hands, after interviewing bartenders.The outbreak was linked to poor food handling practices by an infectious bartender. During the investigation, it was noted that the infectious employee who worked the night most ill patrons ate, returned to work less than 12 hours after they had an episode of diarrhea that same weekend.

USA – Multistate Outbreak of Gastrointestinal Illnesses Linked to Oysters Imported from Mexico is Over

CDC

Photo of oysters.

Image CDC

This outbreak appears to be over. Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should always handle and cook oysters properly. Get CDC’s tips for preventing foodborne illness from oysters and other shellfish.

Final Outbreak Information
Illustration of a megaphone.
  • As of June 21, 2019, this outbreak appears to be over.
  • Sixteen ill people were reported from five states.
    • Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 16, 2018, through April 17, 2019.
    • Two people were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
  • Laboratory testing on samples from patients identified multiple pathogens causing infections. Some people were infected with more than one pathogen.
  • Case counts by pathogen or illness:
    • Four cases of Shigella flexneri infection
    • Two cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection
    • One case of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) non-O157 coinfection
    • One case of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Shigella flexneri coinfection
    • One case of Shigella flexneri and Campylobacter lari coinfection
    • One case of Vibrio albensis infection
    • One case of norovirus genogroup 1 infection
    • One case of infection with Vibrio of unknown species
    • Four cases of illness without a pathogen identified
  • Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicated that raw oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon in Baja California Sur, Mexico, were the likely source of this outbreak.
  • On May 6, 2019, one U.S. distributor of oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon issued a voluntary recallexternal icon.
  • At the request of Mexico’s public health authorities, all raw oysters distributed from Estero El Cardon from the last week of April 2019 through the first week of May 2019 were recalled pdf icon[PDF – 474 KB]external icon.

 

Information – Norovirus: UNC breakthrough brings us closer to a vaccine

Outbreak News Today 

Food Borne Illness - Norovirus -CDC Photo

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Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health and their colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin and the National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center have discovered an antibody that broadly inhibits multiple strains of pandemic norovirus, a major step forward in the development of an effective vaccine for the dreaded stomach virus.