Three in Japan die from suspected norovirus outbreaks

January 17, 2013

OSAKA- A total of three people aged between 88 and 97 have died of a norovirus-related illness at long-term care facilities for elderly people in Japan’s Mie and Okayama Prefecture, local press reported on Wednesday.

According to the country’s public broadcaster Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK), in Mie Prefecture, a 97-year-old woman died on Tuesday at an elderly care center where another 88-year-old woman also died on January 10.

The report cited officials of the prefecture as saying that the two were among about 30 patients and facility employees who have complained of symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea since Jan. 2, adding that an investigation team from the prefecture earlier detected noroviruses in the patients.

Meanwhile, in Okayama, a 91-year-old man died from acute respiratory failure on Tuesday at a care facility where a total of 16 elderly patients and hospital employees have complained the similar symptoms since January 9, the report said, adding that the viruses were also detected in some of the patients including the man.

Teams from both prefectures are respectively investigating the possibility of mass outbreaks of infectious gastroenteritis due to norovirus while preventing the infection from further spreading inside the buildings.

Source: Xinhuanet

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