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CDC Releases Toolkit to Help Clinicians Combat Norovirus Disease Outbreaks
By News Staff
Study Suggests Possible Role for Vaccination Against Norovirus Infection
The purpose of the NEJM study was to determine whether the vaccine could provide protection against illness after a homologous norovirus challenge.
The double-blind, multicenter study involved 98 patients, 77 of whom completed all phases of the study and were included in the final efficacy analysis. Patients initially were randomized to receive either two doses of an adjuvanted vaccine containing 100 micrograms of Norwalk virus VLPs or two doses of a placebo vaccine.
Study participants then underwent a Norwalk virus challenge consisting of oral administration of about 10 times the amount of virus required to infect 50 percent of individuals to whom it is administered.
The authors report that Norwalk virus-associated gastroenteritis occurred in 69 percent of placebo recipients compared with 37 percent of those who received the vaccine. Vaccination also reduced the relative frequency of Norwalk virus infection, with infection occurring in 82 percent of placebo recipients and 61 percent of vaccine recipients. Disease severity was reduced in those who received the vaccine compared with placebo recipients, and onset of illness was delayed. No vaccine-related severe adverse events occurred in either group during the study.
"This study shows that it may be possible to use a vaccination strategy to prevent norovirus disease," the authors concluded.
- What host, viral or environmental characteristics increase or decrease the risk of norovirus infection in health care settings?
- What are the best methods to identify an outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis in a health care setting?
- What interventions best prevent or contain outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis in the health care setting?
For example, a sample communication framework allows health care facilities to specify which departments are to provide what services in the event of a suspected or confirmed norovirus outbreak, as well as who the exact contacts are to get that process started.
Also included in the toolkit are
- a fact sheet that provides an overview of norovirus infections in health care facilities,
- a poster outlining what health care professionals should know about norovirus infection,
- a sample worksheet for reporting cases of norovirus gastroenteritis,
- a slide set describing the management of norovirus outbreaks in health care settings and
- a sample framework document that can be used to identify resources for specimen submission during an outbreak.
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CDC: Healthcare-associated Infections (HAIs): "Norovirus in Healthcare Settings"
CDC: Safe Healthcare blog: "'Tis the season for norovirus sharing"