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Norovirus Guidelines for Healthcare Facilities

The CDC recently released guidelines for preventing and controlling norovirus in healthcare settings.

Norovirus has been increasing in both healthcare and non-healthcare settings for the past few years, but it is most common in healthcare facilities. Infected persons who come into healthcare facilities may transmit the disease through contact with patients or preparing food. The guidelines issued by the CDC are meant for infection prevention of staff, physicians, nurses, epidemiologists, and anyone in charge of implementing infection control programs.

The guidelines, developed by the CDC's Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), cover the following areas:

* Patient cohorting and isolation precautions

* Hand hygiene

* Patient transfer and ward closure

* Indirect patient care staff

* Diagnostics

* Personal protective equipment

* Environmental cleaning

* Staff leave

* Visitors

* Education

* Communication

Click here for a summary of the recommendations.

The CDC looked at three key questions to educate facilities about the prevention of norovirus gastroenteritis:

(1) What host, viral, or environmental characteristics increase or decrease the risk of norovirus infection in healthcare settings?

(2) What are the best methods to identify an outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis in a healthcare setting?

(3) What interventions best prevent or contain outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis in the healthcare setting?

For responses to these three questions, please go to the following link on the CDC's website:

http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/norovirus/002_norovirus-toc.html

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