With the outbreak of norovirus in Japan, four elderly patients were among those who have died after showing symptoms. The four were said to be patients at a hospital in Kyoto, where others have been plagued with the virus for the last five weeks.
Around 101 patients and staff members of the hospital were hit by the virus and showed symptoms of gastroenteritis. The four patients, all of whom were in their 80s and 90s, were vomiting and affected with diarrhea for over a month. This was not the first time that suspected norovirus caused gastroenteritis in a number of people. Last week, it was reported that close to 1000 students and teachers in different elementary schools in Hamamatsu, Shizouka Prefecture fell ill and started vomiting and getting diarrhea. It was initially suspected to be food poisoning, and an investigation was launched to find out whether a certain food ingredient was purchased from the same supplier that might have caused it to afflict students from different schools. However, further probing showed that three female employees of a bread supplier for the schools were diagnosed with norovirus.
Other cases of norovirus in cities and towns across Japan have been reported since December. Authorities are now checking for possible mass outbreaks of infectious gastroenteritis caused by norovirus, to prevent it from further spreading and contaminating others.