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240 students feared infected with norovirus: CDC

240 students feared infected with norovirus: CDC

Taipei, March 6 (CNA) Some 240 students on their graduation trips around Taiwan have reported symptoms associated with norovirus, raising the threat that the infectious diarrhea outbreak will spread across the country, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Friday. About 140 students and teachers out of a 285-person group from New Taipei Municipal An Kang High School reported diarrhea and vomiting during their trip to southern Taiwan, according to the CDC. The symptoms appeared after the group ate breakfast at their hotel in the scenic Kenting area on Thursday morning and again after eating dinner at another restaurant on Thursday night, the agency said. The patients were sent to numerous hospitals, and most of them have been discharged, the agency said. Likewise, 100 students from Ming Hu Elementary School in Taipei have reported vomiting during their trip to Chiayi County since Thursday morning.
The CDC said it is investigating if any staff members of the hotels and restaurants the group visited have contracted the disease. CDC deputy chief Chuang Jen-hsiang (???) said his agency will not be able to confirm if the symptoms were the result of noroviruses until tests and samples are completed next Monday. According to the CDC, infectious diarrhea cases spiked to a six-year high in Taiwan last week, when 270,000 people were treated for the disease. The infections occurred in clusters, mostly among children under the age of 7, the CDC said, adding that norovirus infections have accounted for the majority of the cases. Chuang said the outbreak is likely to continue through the Tomb Sweeping holiday weekend of April 3 to 6 and might even escalate because of the expected increased travel during that period. The primary symptoms of norovirus infections are watery stools and vomiting, and other symptoms may include headache, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea and muscle pains, the CDC said. It urged members of the public to wash their hands frequently, observe good personal and environmental hygiene, and eat only well-cooked foods. (By Lee Hsin-Yin)


Updated : 2021-09-20 13:00 GMT+08:00