Home Hygiene & Health
The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information

April 3rd: Preventing transmission of norovirus infections – the impact of hygiene

A 2018 study shows how microbial modelling can be used to assess the effectiveness risk of hand and surface hygiene in preventing transmission of norovirus infection from person to person via hands and surfaces.  In the UK up to 3 million people suffer a bout of norovirus vomiting and diarrhoea each year. In this study, researchers constructed a mathematical model, using data from a norovirus outbreak aboard a cruise ship. They estimated that wiping of surfaces with chlorine bleach could reduce the outbreak by 10% (range 3-59%)  However if 80% passengers who did not wash their hands were to change their hand hygiene habits, the outbreak would be halted.

The study can be found at : Towers S, Chen J, Cruz C, Melendez J, Rodriguez J, Salinas A, Yu F, Kang Y. Quantifying the relative effects of environmental and direct transmission of norovirus. R. Soc. open sci. 2018; 5: 170602. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.170602.