CDC distributes new norovirus guidelines

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Thorough hand washing with soap and running water is a more proven method of preventing transmission of the norovirus than using alcohol-based and other hand sanitizing methods, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC released its “Updated Norovirus Outbreak Management and Disease Prevention Guidelines” the first week of March.

Hand washing with soap and running water has been demonstrated to reduce the presence of norovirus in finger-pad studies. Alcohol-based sanitizers, however, did not appreciably reduce the presence of viral RNA, according to the CDC. Still, hand sanitizers can be used as an effective norovirus prevention strategy between hand washings, experts say.

In its report, the CDC notes that long-term care facilities, nursing homes and hospitals are the most commonly reported settings of a norovirus outbreak in the United States. In these settings, outbreaks can last longer and be more severe than outbreaks among otherwise healthy populations, potentially contributing to death. Hand hygiene likely is the most effective method of preventing the spread of norovirus, according to the CDC.
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