Norovirus kills six men in Miyazaki hospital

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  • 7

    Yubaru

    This is one downright nasty virus. A friend of mine caught it and was out for a week with the same symptoms and a 40C fever.

    One side note, a nurse friend of mine told be that doctors (here) are call all cases of intestinal infections "noro virus" whether it actually is or not. Seems that the test for the virus is not cheap and takes a few days to get the results. So if any patient comes into the hospital where she works with an intestinal infection they are immediately classifying their illness as the noro virus. (Japanese Doc's did the same thing a few years back with the "shingatta influenza too)

    Be careful folks, and while this may sound stupid, close the toilet seat when flushing, as this virus evidently is strong enough to live in the air for roughly 90 minutes or so and since it is a intestinal virus after going to the bathroom and flushing the toilet the virus shoots into the air and stays their for the aforementioned time. Closing the seat prevents that to a large degree. It is a contagious virus so take precautions. (This was discussed in depth on NHK, and while it seems like a simple thing to do, here in Japan with all the public bathrooms that people use, it is just some information to keep in mind while out and about.)

    But keep in mind that illnesses like this typically affect the elderly, sick, and young infants much harder than the "average" healthy person. Take precautions.

  • 4

    Yubaru

    Hospital officials apologized at a news conference and said the outbreak could have been caused by a caregiver who used a disposable apron throughout the day rather than replacing it after caring for each patient.

    On a separate note.....WTF???? This just sounds to me like someone is play cover their arses and put the blame on a low-wage worker.

    If the hospital knew why didnt they take preventive action? Next, are their training procedures so poor that workers are unaware of "replacing" disposable aprons?

    This is just and excuse.....

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    And what's going to accompany the apology from the hospital in terms of payment for the victims? My guess is nothing, and my next guess is nothing will be done about that either.

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    In any case, this is one reason I never go to a hospital for the common cold, as people suggest I should -- you're more likely to contract something from all the people waiting for their sacks of medicine than you are if you stayed away.

  • 0

    some14some

    six died & five in critical condition, count likely to go up....a piece of apron costs such a disaster (?) :(

  • 2

    southsakai

    Thanks Yubaru, Will definitely be avoiding public toilets and stuff for a while. This really is one scary virus. Be safe all!

  • 0

    Redcliff

    Based on Yabaru comment this Norovirus is some kind of an airborne disease that caused by pathogen transmitted through air. It spread mainly in unsanitary and overcrowded area. Some of the preventions are washing hands with disinfectants after attending to patients or wearing a mask. Taking antibiotic only help to soften the infection in getting worse but does not rid of the virus, only through time and the function of the body immune system. It is not necessarily that the person when exposed to the patient will guarantee catching the disease it depends mainly on the immunity of the host and also depends on ones length of time of exposure to the patient.

  • 2

    kimuzukashiiiii

    Horrible horrible virus. A close family member had it recently - she is pregnant and it knocked her for six.

    The thing is ... there is little you can do about it.

    Alcohol doesn't kill it. You can get it from inhaling dried vomit of someone who is sick, so the apron thing sounds like an excuse to me .... Its probably more due to the hospital not cleaning properly.

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    Hospital officials apologized at a news conference and said the outbreak could have been caused by a caregiver who used a disposable apron throughout the day rather than replacing it after caring for each patient.

    I guess a "Mottainai" culture of Japan is still well alive. Stupid.

    My friends father died due to an infection that was caused by a recycled catheter injection in a major university hospital in Tokyo. When are you willing to give up this stupid culture in medicine? It is time to change, dude. Japanese deserve better. Life is too precious.

  • 2

    mikihouse

    and my grandfather got pseudomonas infection in the hospital after being admitted in a big university hospital in Tokyo. He entered with chest pain, he got out with other infections as well. And yes some staff don't wash their hands after coming out from the toilet. And after looking at other patients, the doctors don't wash their hands either and begin touching the next patients. Cross infection is high in hospitals.

  • 1

    cleo

    You don't need to be particularly unhygienic to get norovirus. My granddaughter picked it up (we think) in a department store play area where possibly some other kid had spread the bug around. She then passed it on to us simply because we played with her, hugged her, etc., before she showed any symptoms.

  • -2

    semperfi

    Thank you YUBARU & REDCLIFF for the information . . . . ON a spearate note, in NO AM -where Norovirus is also rampant at times in various hospitals - there is no way you would fin a hospital coming forward to apologize. . . .It's only in Japan - and it's great the hospital in Miyazaki is taking responsibility.

  • 0

    Tessa

    This norovirus thing sounds absolutely ghastly! (By the way, it's going around the UK too right now, so it's not really a Japan-only thing.) I agree with above posters that handwashing is of vital importance. Avoid public restrooms if you can, as most of them don't have soap or hot water ... or toilet lids, for that matter. I make a point of carrying my own hand wipes around.

    In my early days in Japan I worked in a nursery school, and the staff had atrocious hygiene habits. For example, they would go from changing a nappy on one child to spoonfeeding another child without washing their hands. They allowed the children to cough and sneeze in their faces without teaching them to cover their mouths. On occasion they even carried openly poopy diapers across the room to show the contents to their mothers (I'm not kidding!). The school bathroom had only cold water and no soap. It never surprised me that so many kids, mothers, and staff members caughts colds and viruses so often.

  • 0

    flammenwerfer

    Some perspective: flu/pneumonia is the 5th leading cause of death among persons aged 65 or older in the first world. The is not abnormal, this is historically how nature takes back people near death. These were 6 bedridden elderly men who had lived their lives. R.I.P If 6 children died, then yes a dramatic headline would be more appropriate.

    Norovirus kills 6 - sounds serious.....cancer kills 1000 a day - mundane.

    Yesterday 1000 Japanese passed on due to cancer

    850 died on strokes.

    200 commited suicide.

    620 from Heart Disease.

    take your pick out of cancer, stroke and heart disease and: 350 Japanese died from tobacco related illness.

    13 (daily ave) died on the roads.

    sloppy hygiene on the other hand is inexcusable. could have been caused , sounds like lots of speculating, could have also been a scapegoat as well.

  • 0

    Frungy

    YubaruDec. 24, 2012 - 06:55AM JST One side note, a nurse friend of mine told be that doctors (here) are call all cases of intestinal infections "noro virus" whether it actually is or not.

    I'd suggest looking up "gastroenteritis". This is the English term for this group of conditions, and it could be viral, bacterial or even parasitic in origin. Then tell your doctor ;)

    flammenwerfer

    I see your point and completely agree that there's a lot of hysteria here, however washing your hands and avoiding touching your face (the way the virus usually gets from hands to mouth) is easy... avoiding cancer, strokes, etc... more difficult.

  • -1

    lucabrasi

    a nurse friend of mine told be that doctors (here) are call all cases of intestinal infections "noro virus" whether it actually is or not.

    Yeah, right. And they call all bone fractures "broken wrists", whether they be ribs, skulls or pelvises. And they call all chest diseases "heart attacks", whether they're pneumonia, heartburn or tuberculosis. Because they're really, really stupid and we Westerners are so superior.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Yeah, right. And they call all bone fractures "broken wrists", whether they be ribs, skulls or pelvises. And they call all chest diseases "heart attacks", whether they're pneumonia, heartburn or tuberculosis. Because they're really, really stupid and we Westerners are so superior.

    No you are so far off the mark that it borders on ignorance. First off I was passing off information shared by a medical professional second from personal experience and from a doctors mouth to my own, because of the system here and the costs involved to patients if the symptoms are similar they are treating them ALL as having the same illness.

    High fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, and after examining the patients instead of taking a blood test and forcing the patient to wait days for the results, they are treating them all in the same manner.

    As I noted previously as well the doctors here did the EXACT same thing a few years back when dealing with the shingatta influenza outbreak , so instead of taking blood tests and adding costs to the patients the doctors called them all "shingatta" A for that flu season. As the testing improved they were able to distinguish better between the viruses, which I am sure they will be able to do with this one as well.

    You comments about westerners is WAY OUT OF LINE and wrong because there is NOWHERE I commented anything about westerners being superior, live and learn for once in your life.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    ome perspective: flu/pneumonia is the 5th leading cause of death among persons aged 65 or older in the first world. The is not abnormal, this is historically how nature takes back people near death. These were 6 bedridden elderly men who had lived their lives. R.I.P If 6 children died, then yes a dramatic headline would be more appropriate.

    The other illnesses you used for your "perspective" are not contagious diseases and for the most part are hereditary, self inflicted, or part of the fate of life.

    This virus and illness is pretty much preventable with proper precautions. Next time try using a different perspective to make your comparisons.

    sloppy hygiene on the other hand is inexcusable. could have been caused , sounds like lots of speculating, could have also been a scapegoat as well.

    I agree, but from experience in living here this is how things like this are handled publicly.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    I'd suggest looking up "gastroenteritis". This is the English term for this group of conditions, and it could be viral, bacterial or even parasitic in origin. Then tell your doctor ;)

    Did you read what I wrote? It wasn't me to my doctor, I was passing along what a nurse told me that they were doing when diagnosing this illness.

    I am familiar with gastroenteritis and it is a cover all term like you mentioned for this type of illness. Instead of calling it ichoen, which is gastroenteritis in Japanese, which is typically used in this type of illness the Doctors are calling it the noro virus, whether it is specifically so or not, is another matter altogether.

  • 0

    lucabrasi

    @Yubaru

    I gather from your post above that what you meant to say originally was "Doctors are treating all cases of gastrointestinal distress as if they were norovirus, as a precaution," which makes complete sense.

    The idea that doctors would "call" (diagnose) a condition based on no evidence is laughable.

    We were talking at cross-purposes, but I'd blame the wording of your original post for that.

    Anyway, Merry Christmas and stay healthy. : )

  • 0

    Cos

    this is one reason I never go to a hospital for the common cold

    Good for you. Sometimes I have needed to ask the doc to know I had a common cold and not something worse. And well, I'd wait a day or two for myself to see whether I heal naturally, but not for a little kid or a weak grand-ma. In my country. doctors visit at patients home, too bad that's not possible in Japan.

  • 0

    Frungy

    YubaruDec. 24, 2012 - 01:41PM JST

    I'd suggest looking up "gastroenteritis". This is the English term for this group of conditions, and it could be viral, bacterial or even parasitic in origin. Then tell your doctor ;)
    

    Did you read what I wrote? It wasn't me to my doctor, I was passing along what a nurse told me that they were doing when diagnosing this illness.

    Mate, I wasn't having a go at you, I was merely suggesting that you use the medical English term, which generally triggers a different reaction in the doctors here. If you describe noro-like symptoms they tend to knee-jerk to noro since that's what's currently "going around". If you mention the word "gastroenteritis" it tends to snap them out of it and they consider whether it might be bacterial (treatable with antibiotics), or parasitic (also treatable) before leaping to the conclusion of noro - which has no specific treatment, but only supportive treatment (fluids and anti-emetics).

  • 1

    kimuzukashiiiii

    Gastroenteritis - Refers to infection of the stomach, or intestines. It makes you vomit, feel like you constantly want to vomit, have horrible diarrhea, sometimes fevers and a gurgly, churney stomach. Gastroenteritis does not refer to what has CAUSED the above vomiting, diarrhea, or gurgling. Its just an explanation of the symptoms. Sometimes Its called stomach flu too.

    Norovirus - Is a virus, that when exposed, will cause gastroenteritis. You can check for this virus, by doing a poo sample, however most places don't bother. In about 50% of all gastroenteritis cases, nonovirus is to blame.

    Also food poisoning is a common cause of gastroenteritis. Generally if someone goes to the doctor with Gastroenteritis, they will ask a series of questions to rule out food poisoning first.

    ^ My personal understanding of these terms. Not taken from a dictionary etc, hence use of "gurgly."

    I kind of laugh about these posts about avoiding public toilets. I would put money on the fact you are more likely to catch something like norovirus on a train, or at a supermarket than you would in a toilet. Sadly the norovirus germs last a fairly long time - much longer than from the bathroom sink to the bathroom door. The thing is, people clean toilets, especially public toilets、fairly recently. I wonder when the last time you saw someone cleaning and steralizing the subway hanging rails was? I certainly never have.

    And whoever is friends with the nurse who seems to know nothing about anything medical - you need to get her medical license revoked.

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