Prevention of norovirus infection in schools and childcare facilities
Norovirus, which has epidemiological characteristics that promote a high rate of infectivity and transmission, remains one of the most common causes of childhood gastroenteritis. A new technical report from ECDC provides guidance on steps that can be taken to better prevent and control outbreaks. The Prevention of Norovirus Infection in Schools and Childcare Facilities report offers guidance to EU Member States regarding the efficacy of different ways to manage the spread of the virus. It also reviews findings related to the prevention and control of outbreaks of gastroenteritis in schools and childcare facilities. Much of the guidance has been synthesised from numerous other international guideline documents, which have been formed by expert consensus. There is limited primary research on the efficacy of interventions for the prevention and control of norovirus. Primary prevention measures include effective hand hygiene, frequent cleaning of childcare environments, especially toilet facilities, and adherence to robust food hygiene standards. The effectiveness of each measure is discussed more fully in the report. This technical report was open to public consultation between 12 July and 31 August 2012. The responses to the consultation were taken into account and the report revised accordingly.