Infectious Disease

Measures to combat COVID-19 are inflicting a pointy drop in norovirus

March 06, 2021

2 min read

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Kraay does not report any relevant financial information. In the study you will find all relevant financial information from all other authors.

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Between April and July last year, nine US states saw a more than 80% decrease in reported norovirus outbreaks, likely due to non-pharmaceutical interventions to fight COVID-19, researchers reported.

“We found in the spring of 2020 that the number of NoroSTAT outbreaks reported to NoroSTAT has dropped sharply” – a network of 12 states reporting norovirus outbreaks to the CDC – “much larger and earlier than we do would normally expect it for this time of year, ” Alicia NM Kraay, Healio said, a postdoctoral fellow at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

Non-pharmaceutical interventions for SARS-CoV-2

Source: Kraay ANM et al. J Infect Dis. 2021; doi: 10.1093 / infdis / jiab093.

“We wondered if this could be related to the non-pharmaceutical interventions being carried out for COVID-19” – such as social distancing, wearing masks and increasing hand hygiene – and decided to conduct a study to examine this hypothesis and at the same time Seasonality and eyesight to consider when underreporting was a more likely explanation, ”Kraay said.

Kraay and colleagues evaluated data from nine of the 12 NoroSTAT states from July 2012 to July 2020 to determine whether the decline could best be explained by underreporting, seasonal trends, or decreased exposure due to non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) for the pandemic.

Alicia NM Kraay

Overall, from April 2020, the study showed a “dramatic” decrease in norovirus incidence and outbreak size by 86% and 61%, respectively. According to the study, this decline did not appear to be primarily due to underreporting or seasonality. Kraay said they assessed the combined effects of all NPIs in the study and found that incidence reductions were the least pronounced in nursing homes and healthcare facilities that remained open during the pandemic, leading the team to believe that was the main driver of the decline the closure of venues was where the broadcast takes place frequently, such as schools and universities.

According to Kraay, the researchers are in the process of performing a follow-up analysis to examine how relaxation of certain NPIs affects norovirus incidence and to provide additional data on which interventions were most responsible for the decline.

“Originally non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce COVID-19 transmission appear to have had the indirect benefit of reducing the incidence of norovirus, a non-respiratory pathogen,” Kraay said. “These benefits illustrate the far-reaching importance of NPIs and suggest that these indirect benefits may have helped ease the burden on the health system during the fall / winter 2020 surge. These benefits continue to be helpful as we continue to work to control the pandemic. “

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