Norovirus is the name for the group of viruses that are sometimes referred to as “Norwalk-like” viruses, after the original 1968 strain “Norwalk virus,” which caused an outbreak of gastroenteritis in a school in Norwalk, Ohio. Recently, reported outbreaks of norovirus infections on cruise ships has caused concern about potential infections while traveling.
Norovirus infections are extremely contagious and rapid outbreaks can easily occur when many people are confined to a close-quartered environment. Adding to the difficulty, Norovirus is able to survive freezing temperatures, high temperatures and chlorine levels greater than what is normally present in public water systems. Because the viruses are so hardy and highly contagious, it is difficult to completely prevent infections.
FACS provides a variety of services related to general infection control and specifically to Norovirus and similar infectious agents. FACS can assist in developing appropriate response protocols, provide awareness training, develop cleaning protocols, conduct cleaning verification and sampling and provide training or assessment of cleaning protocols.