International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information
International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information

Widespread environmental contamination with Norwalk-like viruses (NLV) detected in a prolonged hotel outbreak of gastroenteritis.

During and after an outbreak of NLV-associated gastroenteritis, 42% of environmental samples from the hotel were positive for NLV nucleic acid. All positive samples were from sites likely to have been directly contaminated (i.e. known recent vomit) e.g. carpets, toilet rims or seats. Positive samples were just as likely to be collected from a high horizontal surface, very unlikely to have been touched, as they were from items to be handled such as telephones and door knobs. Contact with contaminated fomites appears to have played an important role in maintaining the outbreak over several months. This study demonstrates for the first time the extent of environmental contamination that may occur during a large NLV outbreak. Epidemiology and Infection 2000;125:93-98.