The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion have issued its updated Guideline for the Prevention and Control of Norovirus Gastroenteritis Outbreaks in Healthcare Settings.
Norovirus gastroenteritis infections and outbreaks have been increasingly described and reported in both non-healthcare and healthcare settings during the past several years. In response, several states have developed guidelines to assist both healthcare institutions and communities on preventing the transmission of norovirus infections and helped develop the themes and key questions to answer through an evidence-based review. This guideline includes specific recommendations for implementation, performance measurement and surveillance. Recommendations for further research are provided to address knowledge gaps identified during the literature review in the prevention and control of norovirus gastroenteritis outbreaks.
To evaluate the evidence on preventing and controlling norovirus gastroenteritis outbreaks in healthcare settings, the authors of the guidelines examined published material addressing three key questions:
- What interventions best prevent or contain outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis in the healthcare setting?
- What are the best methods to identify an outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis in a healthcare setting?
- What host, viral, or environmental characteristics increase or decrease the risk of norovirus infection in healthcare settings?
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