Norovirus is a seriously contagious virus that can infect anyone, according to Centers for Disease Control. You can get it from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. Additionally, ample research says it can be transmitted through the air. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed. This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up. These symptoms can be serious for some people, especially young children and older adults, the most vulnerable among us.
Norovirus can have significant economic impact, too. Global Economic Burden of Norovirus Gastroenteritis is a study at PLOS One that “developed a computational simulation model to estimate the economic burden of Norovirus in every country/area (233 total) stratified by World Health Organization region and globally, from the health system and societal perspectives. We considered direct costs of illness (e.g., clinic visits and hospitalization) and productivity losses.” It says that globally, Norovirus resulted in a total of $4.2 billion (95% UI: $3.2–5.7 billion) in direct health system costs and $60.3 billion (95% UI: $44.4–83.4 billion) in societal costs per year. In part it concludes that “the total economic burden is greatest in young children but the highest cost per illness is among older age groups in some regions. These large costs overwhelmingly are from productivity losses resulting from acute illness. . . . Our findings can help identify which age group(s) and/or geographic regions may benefit the most from interventions.”
NoroCORE Food Virology at YouTube is an informative piece that takes a look at food-borne Norovirus illness. NoroCORE and the Perfect Pathogen: USDA-NIFA Efforts to Control Norovirus is a related piece at Contagion Live that reports Norovirus is the leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States, with 5 million of the reported 21 million annual cases linked to contaminated foods. The cost of illness is estimated to be billions of dollars per year.
‘Cruise Ship’ Norovirus Bug Can Spread by Air, Study Finds is a piece at U.S. News and World Report discusses Norovirus and its connection to a series of cruise ship illness. It cites research that finds Norovirus can spread through the air and infect people several feet away.
Norovirus GII.4 Detection in Environmental Samples from Patient Rooms during Nosocomial Outbreaks explores transmission, including through fecal-oral vectors as well as airborne transmission through aerosolized vomitus.