The Infection Control Teams (ICTs) in NHS GG&C and the WoSSVC will use the following definitions:
Definition of a Case
A patient who within a 24-hour period has had 2 or more episodes of non-bloody *diarrhoea and/or 2 or more episodes of vomiting without having any other obvious cause for symptoms.
*Does not include loose stools induced by laxative or enemas.
Definition of an Outbreak / Criteria for Ward Closure
Two or more possible norovirus infection cases in a single ward, unit or department within 24 hours. The decision to close a ward lies solely with the Infection Control Team and is taken on a basis of clinical risk assessment.
1) When the ICT declare the ward closed the ICN will request stool or vomit be sent to microbiology.
2) The ICN will inform the laboratory when there is an outbreak of norovirus on a ward and the protocol is in use.
3) The ICN will inform the laboratory once ward open.
1) The first 3 diarrhoeal samples of stool from each notified outbreak ward should be recorded on the WoSSVC Gastroenteritis Outbreak form, booked into the local lab laboratory system and the samples and the WoSSVC outbreak form forwarded to the WoSSVC.
2) Additional samples should not be sent to the WoSSVC from the outbreak ward unless requested by the ICT. Samples need to be processed following local laboratory procedures.
3) All outbreak results will be faxed back to the referring laboratory (with the patient’s names replaced with initials). A printed report will follow. These results should be conveyed to the ICNs as soon as they become available following local laboratory procedure.
The WoSSVC is happy to process stool and vomit. Non-diarrhoeal stool samples which do not take the shape of the container (i.e. liquid) will not be processed. Details of the sample type should be recorded on the WoSSVC outbreak form.