Rapid control of norovirus gastroenteritis outbreak in an acute paediatric ward

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Abstract

Aim:

To provide a practical action plan for effective infection control of norovirus outbreak in acute paediatric wards.

Methods:

We report the infection control measures that were implemented to terminate and to prevent nosocomial spread of norovirus gastroenteritis in an open-designed paediatric ward.

Results:

Nine children, one visitor, and one medical student were affected in a norovirus gastroenteritis outbreak in an acute paediatric ward. Vomiting was the main presenting symptom. The outbreak was rapidly terminated three days after implementation of stringent infection control measures and there was no second wave of attack. These measures included strict contact precautions, prompt isolation and cohorting of symptomatic patients, vigorous environmental cleansing with concentrated disinfectant (hypochlorite solution 1000 ppm), meticulous handling of waste products, and efficient contact tracing of exposed patients, family members, and medical students.

Conclusion:

Prompt implementation of stringent infection control measures and contact tracing can rapidly terminate the norovirus outbreak and prevent a second wave of infection. Children with unexplained vomiting and those with contact history of gastroenteritis should be properly triaged, isolated, and investigated for possible infective causes, including norovirus-induced gastroenteritis.

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