Taipei, A group of over 100 students and teachers fell sick from diarrhea in Tainan last month because of a norovirus infection rather than food poisoning, as had originally been suspected, the city's Bureau of Education confirmed Friday.
The incident occurred on April 24, when 146 students and five teachers and staff from Tainan Municipal Da-Wan Senior High School reported experiencing stomach aches, vomiting and diarrhea, prompting them to seek immediate medical attention.
Tainan health officials collected blood samples from the patients and also samples of the food served at the school at the time to determine the cause of the illness, and the results came back this week, according to the Bureau of Education.
Of 14 human samples tested, seven came back positive for the norovirus, proving that the infection was a case of norovirus caused by person-to-person contact rather than food poisoning.
Norovirus is commonly transmitted through fecal contamination in food or water, person-to-person contact, and aerosolization with subsequent contamination of surfaces, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. Sometimes people develop a slight fever, chills, headache, muscle pain and a general sense of tiredness.
The Education Bureau again urged people to wash their hands frequently, observe good personal and environmental hygiene, and eat only well-cooked foods, to prevent infection.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel