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Suspected norovirus outbreak sickens over 300 students in Hiroshima

22 Comments

A suspected norovirus outbreak has spread across 10 middle schools in the greater Hiroshima-city area, forcing over 300 students to stay home after suffering from diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms.

All 10 schools closed on Friday, health officials said Saturday, Sankei Shimbun reported.

According to initial reports, the 10 schools affected by the outbreak all received lunches from the same bento maker, leading officials to suspect the plant was the origin of the virus.

School officials said they began receiving calls one after the other from distressed parents whose children were staying home after complaining of a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, Sankei reported.

The Hiroshima Board of Education said the virus left 303 students and 20 teachers sick.

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22 Comments
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Yet another case?

Japanese say their food is so clean and superior, why is Japan leading the world in noro virus outbreaks?

-2 ( +6 / -7 )

Japanese say their food is so clean and superior, why is Japan leading the world in noro virus outbreaks?

You took the words right out of my mouth. I am actually avoiding eating out these days, because of various food safety issues (not only noro) in supposedly clean, safe, superior Japan.

-2 ( +5 / -6 )

This is the result of poor personal hygiene. No hot water or soap in public bathrooms, gargling with cold water(!) then spitting it out....

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Another case of Royal Caribbean Cruise treatment.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Was at thee doc in Friday for flu, he said there are 5 types of stomach bugs going round and many of his patients tested positive for Noro. As all been confined to house for 2-3 weeks.

Norovirus infects tens of thousands and kills thousands globally every year.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

why is Japan leading the world in noro virus outbreaks?

Any evidence that it is? It seems that there's a new strain about that was first identified in Australia, spread across the US in 2012, boarded the Queen Mary 2 and is now active in Japan and Western Europe. There have been more than 140 outbreaks in the US, and hospital wards in the UK have been closed down in an attempt to control it.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cdc-says-new-norovirus-strain-caused-140-outbreaks-since-september/

This is the result of poor personal hygiene.

Well yes, but it doesn't mean that everyone who comes down with noro is guilty of not washing their hands religiously with soap and hot water. All you need do is after washing your hands eat food prepared by a (perhaps symptomless) person with noro, touch something previously touched by someone with noro, or walk into a room where a person with noro has recently vomited.

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/norovirus-why-washing-your-hands-isnt-enough-1C8143996

2 ( +4 / -2 )

A lot of the afflicted in Japan seem to be children. Is this really the case in other lands?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Other countries are not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is the result of poor personal hygiene.

It is, but the Japanese overall are a hell of a lot more concerned with personal hygiene than in other countries I go to. They are obsessive about hand washing here. The kids at school all learn to wash their hands every time they come in from the outside, and you see disinfectant in the entry ways to many buildings. In my old office, there was disinfectant, and everyone used it every time they entered the office. I actually think they overdo it - they don't give their immune systems any chance to build up strength.

2 ( +3 / -2 )

The number of times reported on the news and actual number of cases annually are not proportional so comparing one nation to another simply based on the number of times you see it on the news is meaningless.

The media reports news that the general populous shows interest meaning some has more interest to this kind news then others.

By the way the noro virus are sometimes referred to as "Gastronomy Disease" in France since it is most often associated with eating raw oysters.

0 ( +1 / -2 )

A lot of the afflicted in Japan seem to be children. Is this really the case in other lands?

Yes. Norovirus affects people with weaker immune systems - children, the elderly and the ill.

Most of us have contracted it at some time. We all have it in our bodies. If you are a healthy adult, in most cases you can fight it off.

2 ( +2 / -1 )

Norovirus is dangerous because you can be infected and be spreading it without knowing it. The virus can survive quiet long outside the body and can also spread via air.

Biggest danger is dehydration due to diarrheas and vomiting.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This sounds like a case of contamination at the source. However, most schools have children ladle out food for the lunch meal with very minimal to no supervision. They are instructed to wash their hands, but there is no hot water which may be one reason this kind of virus is spreading so readily in winter. People, especially children, are loathe to wash sufficiently in cold water. There is often nothing with which to dry hands so children use the same moist handkerchief several times a day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to initial reports, the 10 schools affected by the outbreak all received lunches from the same bento maker, leading officials to suspect the plant was the origin of the virus.

Did any other schools use this bento maker and NOT get sick?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As many others have said; this is mainly because of no hot water, soap or towels in toilets. The bottles of antiseptic spray on the desk when you enter a building are a token display and far less effective than soap and water. Almost every time I am in a toilet I see Japanese men walk straight out without even looking at the sink, 1's an 2's.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hot water does squat in preventing virus infection unless you are going to soak you had in boiling hot water and soap is provided at each and every washing place at all schools.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wearing a mask won't keep the virus out of your body. The virus can enter through your eyes. Of course if you are sick you should wear a mask.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hey moderator, you have a news web site, the discussion should not concern you, unless you're control freak!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

More ground water contamination poisoning from Fukushima? Wonder if the Japanese emperor and Abe are still eating Fukushima rice and drinking Fukushima water. That was about one of the biggest lies to come out after a century.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to initial reports, the 10 schools affected by the outbreak all received lunches from the same bento maker

A huge factor, that explains why this happens to children in Japan particularly, is common food source.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Company employees who provided the bento lunches to the store and the schools needs to seriously be investigated as to how they handle their foodstuff. If you mishandle foodstuff bacteria can grow and cause all kinds of havoc on the human system. Also the hygiene of a food preparers could be the cause. I had been reading about India where this virus runs ramped and hygiene is one of their main concerns. But it is a cultural thing there to use their hands and water to clean themselves instead to toilet paper.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They are obsessive about hand washing here. The kids at school all learn to wash their hands every time they come in from the outside, and you see disinfectant in the entry ways to many buildings

Really? Most public schools only have a bars of soap, suspended in mesh bags by a public washing trough in the hallways. Im dubious about how hygienic that is. Kids may be more conscious about hand washing, but Ive seen plenty of male teachers who dont even bother to wash their hands after the toilet, and if they do, its a split second splash under the water like theyre at risk of "burning" their hands. As for hand disinfectant, Ive never seen anyone use it in schools. Maybe you got lucky

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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