Noroviruses are infectious agents that cause gastroenteritis. Noroviruses, like SARS CoV-2, are single-stranded RNA viruses. Due to the high stability of noroviruses in the environment and the low infectious dose, norovirus outbreaks with a large number of ill persons occur again and again, especially in community facilities such as schools, kindergartens, hospitals and senior residences. Norovirus illnesses occur more frequently in the winter months. The epidemiology of norovirus infections in Austria has largely changed since the drastic measures to combat the SARS CoV-2 pandemic began. The closure of community facilities, increased hygiene measures, and ultimately the reduced number of physician visits for gastrointestinal complaints, has resulted in a large reduction in reported norovirus cases. Such collateral benefits from the SARS CoV-2 pandemic have also been shown for other RNA viruses such as rotaviruses and influenza viruses.
Last updated: 14.09.2022