Norovirus Outbreak in Residents of a Congregate Institution-Yilan County, 2008

Chin-Mei Liu1.2, Donald Dah-Shyong Jiang 2, Yu Lien Liu3, Fang-Tzy Wu4

2010 Vol.26 NO.12

Correspondence Author: Donald Dah-Shyong Jiang



Norovirus infection is one of the most common causes of diarrhea outbreaks. A diarrhea outbreak occurred in a congregate institution in Yilan County in 2008. Officers of first Branch and professionals of the field epidemiology training program of Taiwan CDC in conjunction with officials from the Disease Control Division of Yilan County Public Health Bureau proceeded to the location on October 3, to conduct epidemiological investigations. Objectives of the investigation are to estimate the scale of this diarrhea outbreak, to determine mode of transmission and possible pathogens, and to evaluate the effectiveness of control measures.
During September 29 to October 7, a total of 53 residents at the institution started to show symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms. Attack rate for males was 2.0%, females 7.1%. Eighty-nine human fecal specimens (including kitchen workers) and six environmental samples were collected and tested with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Of which four resident’s fecal specimens and an environmental sample (toilet) contained norovirus. Accordingly, this case has been judged as a norovirus outbreak. Due to the fact that the outbreak was reported quickly and the Yilan County Public Health Bureau intervened in time, arranging isolation and treatment for patients, environmental disinfection, implementation of gastrointestinal tract infection control measures and intensive disease surveillance, this cluster incident was prevented from expansion. The institution implemented comprehensive infection control measures and surveillance for diarrhea symptoms until October 17 and no new cases of diarrhea were detected.