ECDC publishes report on managing norovirus in childcare settings

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control published a new technical report on Wednesday for guidance on steps to take to better prevent and control outbreaks of norovirus.

Norovirus is one of the most common childhood causes of gastroenteritis. The virus has epidemiological characteristics that lead to a high rate of transmission and infectivity. The Prevention of Norovirus Infection in Schools and Childcare Facilities report gives guidance to member states of the European Union related to the efficacy of different methods for managing the spread of the virus.

The report also reviews findings related to the control and prevention of gastroenteritis outbreaks in childcare facilities and schools.

The majority of the guidance was synthesized from multiple other international guideline documents, which were created from expert consensus. Only limited primary research exists on the efficacy of interventions for the control and prevention of norovirus.

Primary measures for norovirus prevention include effective hand hygiene, the frequent cleaning of childcare environments, such as toilet facilities, and adherence to strict standards of food hygiene. The report goes into detail of how effective each method can be.

The report was open to public consultation between July 12, 2012 and August 31. Responses to the consultation were taken into consideration, leading to the revision of the report.