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|Title:||A large prolonged outbreak of human calicivirus infection linked to an aged-care facility|
|Citation:||Communicable Disease Intelligence, 2002; 26(2):261-264|
|Publisher:||Department of Health and Family Services|
|Milazzo A, Tribe IG, Ratcliff R, Doherty C, Higgins G and Givney R.|
|Abstract:||This report investigates an outbreak of acute gastrointestinal illness, microbiologically and epidemiologically linked to an aged-care facility and seeks to determine if there was a point source of infection. A register of cases that included onset date and time of illness and symptoms was maintained by nursing staff. Faecal specimens were tested for conventional gastrointestinal pathogens and for human calicivirus (HuCV). There were 81 cases reported. Specimens were received for testing from 25 cases. Twenty-three of the 25 (92%) specimens were positive for HuCV RNA by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The 2 negative samples contained RT-PCR inhibitors. Descriptive epidemiology suggested that staffing practices were important in prolonging the outbreak. No point source of infection was identified. Instead environmental contamination, aerosol transmission and work practices that fail to take account of the natural history of HuCV infection probably contributed to the size (81 cases) and duration (3 weeks) of this outbreak among the residents, staff and visitors of an aged-care facility and their contacts. Institutional outbreaks caused by HuCV, formerly called Norwalk-like or small round structured viruses, are extremely difficult to control. Infected staff may contribute significantly to the amplification of outbreaks. Rapid confirmation of HuCV infection is now routinely possible using polymerase chain reaction diagnostics but progress in laboratory technology has not yet translated into faster or more effective interventions.|
|Keywords:||Humans; Caliciviridae Infections; Gastroenteritis; Acute Disease; Disease Outbreaks; Aged; Homes for the Aged; Nursing Homes; South Australia; Female; Male|
|Appears in Collections:||Public Health publications|
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