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Noroviruses Cause Nearly a Fifth of Gastroenteritis Cases Worldwide — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 27, 2014

Noroviruses Cause Nearly a Fifth of Gastroenteritis Cases Worldwide

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS

Noroviruses are found in 18% of patients with acute gastroenteritis worldwide, according to a meta-analysis in the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Researchers examined data from 175 studies (published from 2008 to 2014) comprising nearly 190,000 patients with acute gastroenteritis in 48 countries. In all studies, polymerase chain reaction-based tests were performed on patients' stool samples to identify noroviruses and other pathogens.

The prevalence of noroviruses was the same in patients under 5 years of age and in older patients (18% in each group). The prevalence was somewhat higher in outpatient and community settings (20%–24%) than in inpatient settings (17%). Noroviruses also tended to be more common in developed countries than in high-mortality developing countries.

The authors and commentators emphasize the importance of developing vaccines against noroviruses.

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