According to a study conducted in eight hospitals and nursing, homesagastroenteritis virus can be spread by airbourne means.  Bioaerosol norovirus was detected in 54 % of patient rooms affected by gastroenteritis .  In addition, aerosolized gastroenteritis was present in 38% of corridors with acces to the rooms, as well as half of the nurse workstations.


(Quebec) For the first time, a study by researchers at Laval University confirms that the virus of gastroenteritis can spread through air. “We suspected that there were viruses in the air, but we are the first to measure it. Our team is one of the few in the world that has the equipment to evaluate and measure bioaerolized contamination. We have a research team dedicated to the study of bioaerosols with equipment on the cutting edge, “said Thursday Caroline Duchaine, a professor at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Laval University. Mrs. Duchaine, which has been studying aerosolized contaminants  for several years, supervised the research on the dissemination of  gastroenteritis virus through air. She is also a researcher at the University Institute of Cardiology and Pneumology of Quebec. The study, which began in 2012 shows that the norovirus (that of gastroenteritis) was detected airbourne particle suspension in 54% of patient rooms stricken with gastrointestinal infection, 38% of corridors giving access to their room and in half of the nurse workstations The viral concentration levels were from 13 to 2350 per m3 of air.  It only takes a concentration of 20 to be ingurgitated to become ill.  The study was conducted in eight hospitals and nursing homes. The identity of the centers was not disclosed. The air samples were taken at one meter from patients, at the entrance to their room and nursing station 

 A cause?

 According to the author, this unknown method of dispersion helps to explain the difficulty in containing an outbreak of gastroenteritis in locations with high human interaction and proximity.  . “There are a lot of scientific articles that suggest that it may perhaps be spread, but the evidence of transmission through the air has not been made. This is what we will evaluate in a future study, “said Ms. Duchaine. Unlike the influenza virus that has to be inhaled to infect the lungs, gastrointestinal virus must go through the digestive system. “It takes conditions. We must inhale the virus and that the particle may be stopped in the nose or throat and be swallowed. If gastroenteritis virus is only in the lung, the person will not have the illness “explained Professor. Contamination by ambient air remains a serious hypothesis. “There are a lot of epidemiological evidences. We talk about problems on cruise ships, for example. It spreads unbelievable fast when someone is sick, everyone catches it. We see it in schools, child care centers. It is a virus that is very easy to catch when someone is sick , “she added. Mrs. Duchaine believes that hospitals and nursing homes need to reconsider the cleaning and disinfection methods to include norovirus dissemination through air since current methods are based on contamination through surface contact.  She indicates that new methods of air treatment and decontamination represent a key element in neutralizing the spread of the airbourne norovirus. . 

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