The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on a norovirus outbreak at a Washington, D.C., elementary school in which some of the victims picked up the virus from contaminated computer equipment.
“There is evidence that shared objects and surfaces help transmit disease,” said Dr. Shua Chai, a CDC epidemiologist and co-author of the report, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
“This is the first time that we have demonstrated that keyboards and computer mice can be a source of transmission of norovirus,” he added.
Of the 314 students and 66 staffers at the D.C. school, 103 came down with the illness - 79 students and 24 staff members. To find the sources of contamination, samples were taken from various surfaces around the school. Keyboards and mice in first grade classrooms tested positive for norovirus, according to the report.
"The virus can live on surfaces for several days," Chai said. "To prevent infection with the virus, people should wash their hands after using shared objects, and computer keyboards and mice should be disinfected regularly with diluted bleach," he said.
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