Gastro outbreaks hit elderly hardest

April 2, 2014

Frail elderly people living in residential care facilities are at increased risk of severe illness or death from outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis.

This is the finding from a study led by Craig Davis from Department of Health Queensland, published in the April issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

"Importantly, prompt notification of outbreaks to public health units led to a much shorter duration of the outbreak," Mr Davis said.

"Notification of outbreaks to units should occur within 24 hours of any outbreak so that diagnostic testing and control measures can begin as soon as possible.

"A number of viruses may cause outbreaks, but norovirus is by far the most common.

"It typically causes vomiting, watery diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal cramps with symptoms such as fatigue, myalgia, headache, chills and fever.

"There is no specific treatment and no vaccine for norovirus.

"Gastro cause a considerable burden in residential care facilities, including disruptions relating to staff absenteeism due to illness, closure of common areas to residents, cancellation of events and increased attention required to infection control.

Explore further: Norovirus is the leading cause of infection outbreaks in US hospitals

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1753-6405

Related Stories

CDC: Outbreaks of severe form of conjunctivitis reported

August 16, 2013

(HealthDay)—Between 2006 and 2010, six outbreaks of human adenovirus (HAdV)-associated epidemic keratoconjunctivitis were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a report published ...

Recommended for you

Analysis of 1976 Ebola outbreak holds lessons relevant today

June 29, 2016

With the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa reviving interest in the first outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic fever 40 years ago, scientists led by Dr. Joel Breman of the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes ...

Monkey study shows Zika infection prolonged in pregnancy

June 28, 2016

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers studying monkeys have shown that one infection with Zika virus protects against future infection, though pregnancy may drastically prolong the time the virus stays in the body.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.