At Georgetown University in Washington D.C., Vice President and Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Ranit Mishori, in an update on the Georgetown outbreak, reported that a total of 145 students, faculty and staff have reported symptoms that are consistent with a viral gastroenteritis (Norovirus) over the last two weeks.

Stool samples tested at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and others sent to the DC Department of Health have confirmed the presence of Norovirus. While the bug is known, what is unknown is the source. To date there is no confirmed link to a food source or any of the dining areas on or off campus.

In other college news, in Rochester, New York, a spokesperson with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)  said approximately 50 students were sickened by Norovirus.  Most cases were resolved within a day or two without the need for medical treatment. 

The Monroe County Department of Public Health on Thursday determined Norovirus as likely responsible for the outbreak on the Henrietta campus.  Again, to date there is no confirmed link to a food source or any of the dining areas on or off campus.

The Utah Department of Health says dozens of people attending business conferences in Park City were confirmed to have contracted Norovirus, a sickness that causes flu-like symptoms.

Officials say people attending two separate business conferences came down with the sickness. They believe the outbreak is over, but they still want everyone to be careful and report suspected cases.

Summit County health officials say the most common place to get the Norovirus is where large groups of people gather. It is often seen occurring on cruise ships. In Park City it occurred at two large business gathering where people ate catered food.

The Utah Department of Health says dozens of people attending business conferences in Park City were confirmed to have contracted Norovirus, a sickness that causes flu-like symptoms.

Officials say people attending two separate business conferences came down with the sickness. They believe the outbreak is over, but they still want everyone to be careful and report suspected cases.

Summit County health officials say the most common place to get the Norovirus is where large groups of people gather. It is often seen occurring on cruise ships. In Park City it occurred at two large business gathering where people ate catered food.

Several outbreaks of Norovirus have been reported across the state according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The department reports Norovirus is the most common of the viruses that cause gastroenteritis.

Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain.

Riverstone Health recommends people in day care, schools and health care stay home for 48 hours after symptoms have resolved.

Food service workers should stay home for 72 hours.

“In that period just following the illness, you’re still shedding the virus but it tends to decrease over time,”said Kim Bailey, a Registered Nurse and Communicable Diseases Manager for Riverstone Health. “So we really want for people especially food service workers to stay home during that period when they’re still shedding the virus quite a bit.”

Bailey says the vomit from someone with Norovirus can be very infectious.

“When people throw up, it gets aerosolized and little particles get thrown into the air,” said Bailey. “And that is infectious to other people that are in the room.”

To prevent the spread of Norovirus, Riverstone Health recommends washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and cleaning “high touch” surfaces with a solution of one-third cup of bleach to a gallon of water.

North Carolina State University will use a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to strengthen food safety by studying human noroviruses across the food supply chain in an effort to design effective control measures and reduce the number of virus-caused food-borne illnesses.

Human noroviruses are the most common cause of food-borne disease, responsible for more than 5 million cases in the United States each year. Noroviruses spread from person to person, through contaminated food or water, and by touching contaminated surfaces. Molluscan shellfish like oysters, clams and mussels, fresh produce and foods that are extensively handled just prior to consumption are at greatest risk for contamination.

Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, a professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at N.C. State, is the lead investigator of this five-year project. Her group, called the USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative, consists of a team of more than 30 collaborators from academia, industry and government. The team will work to increase understanding of the viruses; educate producers, processors and food handlers on safe handling and preparation of food; and develop control and management strategies to reduce food contamination before and after harvesting.

North Carolina State University will use a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to strengthen food safety by studying human noroviruses across the food supply chain in an effort to design effective control measures and reduce the number of virus-caused food-borne illnesses.

Human noroviruses are the most common cause of food-borne disease, responsible for more than 5 million cases in the United States each year. Noroviruses spread from person to person, through contaminated food or water, and by touching contaminated surfaces. Molluscan shellfish like oysters, clams and mussels, fresh produce and foods that are extensively handled just prior to consumption are at greatest risk for contamination.

Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, a professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at N.C. State, is the lead investigator of this five-year project. Her group, called the USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative, consists of a team of more than 30 collaborators from academia, industry and government. The team will work to increase understanding of the viruses; educate producers, processors and food handlers on safe handling and preparation of food; and develop control and management strategies to reduce food contamination before and after harvesting.

The Oregon State Public Health Laboratory says recent fecal samples from some of the nearly 100 people who reported getting ill after visiting Elk Lake Resort in recent weeks have tested positive for Norovirus, officials said Thursday.

Although the drinking water at Elk Lake Resort tested positive for Coliform bacteria, it is now conclusive that E. Coli was not the cause of reported illnesses, according to Deschutes County health officials.

The source of the Norovirus is still unknown, they said, and no new reports of illness occurring after Thursday, July 14 have been reported. The total from before that is close to 100, they said.

Norovirus is a virus that causes acute gastroenteritis in humans. The most common symptoms of acute gastroenteritis are diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

Norovirus is also described as “Norwalk-like viruses.” Norovirus spreads from person to person through contaminated food or water, and by touching contaminated surfaces. Norovirus is recognized as the leading cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States. Outbreaks can happen to people of all ages and in a variety of settings.

For the fourth time since mid-May, the Se Princess’s passengers have been sickened by norovirus, a gastrointestinal infection that causes diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain.

At the end of a 10-day sailing, the ship returned to San Francisco June 29 with 53 of its 2,196 passengers affected by the stomach bug, according to USA Today.

The number of cases wasn’t high enough for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to consider the episode an official outbreak. The CDC issues an outbreak alert only when 3 percent of either passengers or crew members become ill; only 2.4 percent of Sea Princess’ passengers were sickened.

A recent norovirus outbreak onboard the Alaska cruise ship Sea Princess sickened more than a hundred passengers.

Princess Cruises says a total of 142 people became ill during the ship’s May 30th-to-June 9th cruise, which visited Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and Ketchikan.

The San Francisco-based ship’s next departure was pushed back while crews disinfected the Sea Princess. Spokeswoman Karen Candy says the delay was just four hours. But it was enough to force route changes.

Sitka gained an unscheduled stop, Juneau saw the ship later than expected and Haines lost a docking.

The Sea Princess carries about 2,000 passengers and 900 crew members during 10-day Inside Passage cruises. Other stops along the route can include Skagway, Tracy Arm and Victoria, British Columbia.

Norovirus, also called Norwalk-like virus, is a common gastrointestinal illness that causes diarrhea and vomiting. Princess Cruises says it followed U.S. Centers for Disease Control protocols in reporting the illness and cleaning the vessel before its latest sailing.

The cruise line says norovirus numbers were also higher than usual during the ship’s two previous trips.

CDC inspected the Sea Princess on May 24th and identified 13 problems, including a leaking pipe at a soup station. However, all the issues were considered minor and the overall health rating was high.

Diana Samuels reports that an outbreak of norovirus has sickened more than two-dozen people at The Sequoias in Portola Valley, an official at the retirement community said Tuesday. Officials have closed the retirement community’s dining room and canceled social activities, said Rick Isaacs, The Sequoias’ skilled nursing administrator. Family members and others are “encouraged not to visit, for the time being,” he said, as staff works to keep the illness from spreading.

Norovirus causes diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain, and is spread from person to person through contaminated food or water and by touching contaminated services, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. It is recognized as the leading cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States, the CDC site says. No more than a dozen people at The Sequoias have been sick at any one time since officials at the retirement community learned of the outbreak mid-last week, Isaacs said.