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Airborne or Fomite Transmission for Norovirus? A Case Study Revisited

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-08-20, 15:19 authored by S Xiao, J Tang, Y Li
Norovirus infection, a highly prevalent condition associated with a high rate of morbidity, comprises a significant health issue. Although norovirus transmission mainly occurs via the fecal-oral and vomit-oral routes, airborne transmission has been proposed in recent decades. This paper re-examines a previously described norovirus outbreak in a hotel restaurant wherein airborne transmission was originally inferred. Specifically, the original evidence that suggested airborne transmission was re-analyzed by exploring an alternative hypothesis: could this outbreak instead have occurred via fomite transmission? This re-analysis was based on whether fomite transmission could have yielded similar attack rate distribution patterns. Seven representative serving pathways used by waiters were considered, and the infection risk distributions of the alternative fomite transmission routes were predicted using a multi-agent model. These distributions were compared to the reported attack rate distribution in the original study using a least square methods approach. The results show that with some reasonable assumptions of human behavior patterns and parameter values, the attack rate distribution corresponded well with that of the infection risk via the fomite route. This finding offers an alternative interpretation of the transmission routes that underlay this particular norovirus outbreak and an important consideration in the development of infection control guidelines and the investigation of similar norovirus outbreaks in future

Funding

HKSAR Government Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) project (no. C7025-16G) and a General Research Fund (GRF) project (no. 17211615).

History

Citation

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2017, 14 (12), pp. 1571

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF LIFE SCIENCES/School of Medicine/Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Publisher

MDPI

eissn

1660-4601

Acceptance date

2017-12-12

Copyright date

2017

Available date

2019-08-20

Notes

Supplementary materials are available from the publisher website at www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/12/1571/s1

Language

en

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