Employees' virus may have caused deaths at nursing home

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Seven people who died at a nursing home late last year in Fukuyama, Hiroshima, in Japan, may have been infected with a virus transmitted by two staff members.

The center detected norovirus from stool samples of 23 residents at the home and two employees. One of the employees has shown symptoms of the disease caused by the virus while the other employee works at a cook at the facility, leading officials to suspect the employees passed on the virus to the victims.

Five of the victims -- four women and a man – were staying in neighboring rooms. The two others, a man and a woman, died in two distant rooms. All experienced severe diarrhea and vomiting before dying. The average age of patients at the home is about 90.

A member of the fact-finding committee set up by the local government said he suspects the victims caught the virus from other people rather than through food. Following the outbreak of norovirus at the facility, the same type of virus was detected from dozens of residents at nursing care homes in western Japan.