Norovirus confirmed in boarding school in Hesse

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45 Norovirus infections in the Hessian boarding school confirmed by health authorities

The Norovirus is around. After the DRK and emergency doctors went out on Friday for a major operation due to acute vomiting diarrhea in the Hermann-Lietz school in Hohenwehrda, the suspicion of a norovirus infection has now been confirmed

Five teachers and 40 students had meanwhile been given medical treatment for the typical norovirus symptoms - abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea accompanied by impending circulatory breakdowns. 27 students were treated on an outpatient basis right after the large-scale operation on Friday. Of the three children who were admitted to the hospital, two have already been released, said Dieter Gobrecht, medical officer of the Hersfeld-Rotenburg district, on Monday. The temporary sick camp in the boarding school has since been closed and school operations continue as normal, reports headmistress Sabine Hasenjäger.

Norovirus infections: boarding school is disinfected. Around ten children and three teachers are still affected, but the norovirus is gradually subsiding, explained the Hersfeld-Rotenburg district doctor. "After 24 to 36 hours, this (...) is usually over for the individual," says Gobrecht. To avoid further infections, the entire school building is currently being meticulously disinfected as a precaution, explained the headmistress. "It looks like an operating room here," says Sabine Hasenjäger on the extensive disinfection measures. Understandably, some parents had reacted to the incidents at the boarding school clearly, but the majority had dealt with the events after telephone consultation, according to the headmistress. In addition, the school management will inform all relatives of the students about the illness and the measures taken, said Hasenjäger.

Norovirus infections increased drastically across Germany Currently, a veritable wave of norovirus appears to be taking place in Germany. The number of reported diseases has increased rapidly in the past two months. Nothing unusual in itself, because like the seasonal flu waves, norovirus infections occur mainly in the winter months. However, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the total number of new cases has increased dramatically in the past ten years. According to estimates by the RKI, around one million people across Germany were infected with the norovirus last year, which was about a hundred times more than in 2001.

Norovirus infection causes severe gastroenteritis Infection with the norovirus is characterized by a relatively short incubation period, followed by a relatively short but violent illness. The symptoms essentially correspond to severe gastroenteritis - sudden diarrhea and violent vomiting are often signs of a norovirus infection. The virus is transmitted through the so-called smear or contact infection. The noroviruses are excreted by people who are already infected via stool and vomit and taken up by their fellow human beings by fecal-oral route. Since the noroviruses are also very resistant - temperature fluctuations from minus 20 to plus 60 degrees cannot harm them - transmission is also relatively easy via contaminated objects, food and beverages.

Norovirus infection risk significantly increased in community facilities In community facilities such as the boarding school in Hesse, which is now affected, the risk of infection is particularly high, because not only the generally close contact with the roommates but also the shared use of the hygiene facilities, e.g. shared toilets, a local outbreak promotes. Strict adherence to certain hygiene standards such as regular hand washing or the boiling of laundry and dishes can help, at least roughly, to protect against infection. Since a norovirus infection is accompanied by a considerable loss of fluid, vomiting diarrhea should not be taken lightly, especially in children, the elderly and weakened people, and a doctor should be consulted urgently if the course of the disease is severe. (fp)

Also read:
Norovirus confirmed in Haunetal, Hesse
Norovirus cases are not uncommon
Beware of the Noro virus

Image: Gerd Altmann /

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