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Published On: Fri, Jan 17th, 2014

Japan: Norovirus sickens over 900 schoolkids in Hamamatsu

More than 900 schoolchildren and 41 teachers in 14 schools in the Japanese city of Hamamatsu have been sickened by the gastrointestinal bug, norovirus, causing them to miss school, according to a Voices of Russia report Thursday.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

According to the report, all patients were detected as possessing a norovirus, which causes high temperature, vomiting and diarrhea within the space of a few days. 12 out of 14 schools have announced quarantine until Saturday. It is noteworthy that in each of the schools the meals were prepared separately, and matching ingredients were not found.

The investigation into the outbreak is ongoing. Norovirus normally circulates in Japan during the winter months.

Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.

The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.

Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food andwater, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.

Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Japan: Hundreds of schoolchildren sicked in Hiroshima, norovirus suspected - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] outbreak follows a norovirus outbreak in Hamamatsu, which sickened nearly 1,000 schoolchildren and teachers […]

  2. Bakery workers linked to norovirus outbreak in Japanese schoolkids - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] a follow-up to a report late last week where nearly 1,000 people, primarily schoolchildren, contracted the gastrointestinal infection […]

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