S-Korea Environment Ministry continues to ignore Norovirus

Korea and Prevention announced Sunday that as of May 10 there have been 111 cases of mass diarrhea so far this year, affecting 2,996 people. That is a figure eight times higher than the same period last year. This is major cause for concern because the summer season is ahead, when there has traditionally been a high number of cases.

There are other reasons for worry as compared to the situation last year: 32 percent of all cases this year were caused by Noroviruses, 17 times the figure last year. At the same time, there were 3 percent less cases of salmonella. In other words, there has been a change in what causes mass sickness. Also, there has been an eleven-fold increase in the number of outbreaks at resorts and centers specializing in work training and retreats, and 30 times more people have gotten sick at these places. At places with industrial kitchens, such as these large training centers, it would appear the problem is the use of poor quality groundwater for drinking or cooking, water that has been contaminated by Norovirus. In response, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is going to go on a publicity campaign against the use of water from underground sources or from mini-treatment facilities for use as drinking water or in cooking, and has instructed the country’s community health centers and local governments how to keep groundwater supply facilities thoroughly free from contamination.

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About Norovirus

    Noroviruses are highly contagious and are transmitted via the faeces and vomit of infected people, either through direct contact or throught contaminated objects or via food and water. The incubation period is one to three days.



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