NDSC Confirms Cases of Small Round Structured Virus (SRSV)

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The National Disease Surveillance Centre confirms cases of the Small Round Structured Virus (SRSV) also known as the Norwalk-like virus and winter vomiting disease were isolated in Irish passengers returning from ski holidays in Andorra. The Andorran authorities have been notified of this illness among Irish passengers returning from the ski resort.

To date, Irish passengers on three return flights from Toulouse experienced symptoms such as nausea, projectile vomiting and/ or diarrhoea which suggested that a virus such as NLV (Norwalk-like Virus) was the likely causative organism. Preliminary investigation has shown that 32% of passengers on two flights returning from Toulouse on 27 January 2002 had been ill with these symptoms, either during their holiday or on the plane journey home. Similarly, initial results indicate that 25% of passengers on a return flight from Toulouse on 31 March 2002 had been ill during their stay in Andorra.

Irish tourists visiting Andorra are being advised not to drink the local water and to use only bottled water. Bottled water should also be used when brushing teeth.

Winter vomiting disease is caused by viruses known as Small Round Structured Viruses (SRSV) or Norwalk-like Viruses (NLVs). They usually cause short-lasting outbreaks but can be extremely infectious. Contaminated oysters and water are important vehicles of transmission - early investigation indicates that much of the illness in Andorra was associated with water. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. Headache and low-grade fever are not uncommon. Recovery is usually within 2-3 days without serious or long-term health effects.