Norovirus causes up to 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis and about 800 deaths annually in the United States. Older adults in long-term care (LTC) facilities are particularly at risk. The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority analyzed norovirus cases reported by LTC facilities during the three most recent norovirus seasons. Reports to the Authority showed that norovirus events comprised more than 40% of all gastrointestinal infections. The norovirus outbreak rate varied by region within the state, but with the exception of the Northcentral region in academic year 2016, all regions reported infections in each of the three years studied. In the timeframe analyzed, Pennsylvania LTC facilities reported an increased number of norovirus events from November through March--the typical norovirus season. This shows that norovirus infection control continues to be problematic in Pennsylvania LTC facilities, indicating a need to implement improved prevention and control strategies.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright holder. Further use of the material is subject to CC BY-NC-DC license. (More information)