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Guideline for the Prevention and Control of Norovirus Gastroenteritis Outbreaks in Healthcare Settings, 2011

VI. Scope and Purpose

This guideline provides recommendations for the prevention and control of norovirus gastroenteritis outbreaks in healthcare settings.  All patient populations and healthcare settings have been included in the review of the evidence.  The guideline also includes specific recommendations for implementation, performance measurement, and surveillance strategies. Recommendations for further research are also included to address the knowledge gaps relating to norovirus gastroenteritis outbreak prevention and management that were identified during the literature review.

To evaluate the evidence on preventing and managing norovirus gastroenteritis outbreaks, three key questions were examined and addressed:

  1. What host, viral, or environmental characteristics increase or decrease the risk of norovirus infection in healthcare settings?
  2. What are the best methods to identify an outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis in a healthcare setting?
  3. What interventions best prevent or contain outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis in the healthcare setting?

This document is intended for use by infection prevention staff, healthcare epidemiologists, healthcare administrators, nurses, other healthcare providers, and persons responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating infection prevention and control programs for healthcare settings across the continuum of care.  The guideline can also be used as a resource for professional societies or organizations that wish to develop guidance on prevention or management of outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis for specialized settings or populations.

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