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More Taiwanese tourists suspected with norovirus

More Taiwanese tourists suspected with norovirus

Taipei, Jan. 7 (CNA) Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Tuesday that five out of 57 specimens from 43 ill Taiwanese tourists who had recently returned from South Korea have tested positive for norovius, the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in humans. The travelers were among 457 participants in 16 tour groups to visit South Korea since late December. In its investigation, the CDC found that 285 of them developed diarrhea while they were in South Korea. Some had sought medical treatment there, but 43 were still suffering from the illness upon their return to Taiwan, the CDC said. As part of quarantine measures, 57 specimens were taken from the tourists, five of which tested positive for norovirus while 25 were negative and the other 27 were still being tested, the CDC said. CDC quarantine physician Luo Yi-chun said those infected are aged between 9 and 58, and 60 percent are female. The patients were likely infected by eating contaminated food in South Korea, Luo added. Norovirus infection is a highly contagious viral illness with an incubation period of one to two days, according to Luo. Within two days to two weeks after recovery, patients can still pass the virus on to other people, he said. The virus is usually transmitted by fecally contaminated food or water, by person-to-person contact, or by aerosolization of the virus and subsequent contamination of surfaces. Norovirus infection is characterized by nausea, forceful vomiting, watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in some cases, loss of the sense of taste. The disease is usually self-limiting, lasting between one and 10 days, with severe complications rare. The CDC reminded people to wash their hands frequently and to make sure their food has been properly cooked. (By Lung Rui-yun and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-06-17 17:50 GMT+08:00