Norovirus causes most traveler's diarrhea

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 28, 2005

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The majority of diarrhea in travelers to Mexico and Guatemala is caused by the Norovirus, states a study published in the March Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore recruited nearly 1,500 students traveling to these countries to submit stool samples if they developed problems. Scientists used molecular detection methods to determine that about 65% tested positive for the bug. The longer the traveler stayed abroad, the more likely they were to contract it. Also, 32% were co-infected with Escherichia coli.

Norovirus long has been implicated in the stomach troubles that so many international travelers develop, but only recently has the technology to determine the true prevalence been available. Authors wrote that the high prevalence found in this study suggest the need for further research into the possible mechanisms of action and treatments.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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