Skip to main content
Log in

Rapid Propagation of Norovirus Gastrointestinal Illness Through Multiple Nursing Homes Following a Pilgrimage

  • Concise Article
  • Published:
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Reported here is an outbreak of gastroenteritis due to Norovirus infection that affected at least 450 persons from nursing homes and similar institutions in Switzerland during and after an organised pilgrimage to Lourdes in France. The outbreak was characteristic of direct person-to-person transmission, with the primary cases occurring in the hospital that harboured some of the pilgrims in Lourdes.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2001) "Norwalk-like Viruses:" public health consequences and outbreak management. MMWR 50 (No. RR-9):1–17

  2. Fretz R, Svoboda P, Lüthi TM, Baumgartner A (2002) Gastroenteritis outbreaks due to infections with "Norwalk-like viruses" (NLV) in Switzerland. In: Program and abstracts, 12th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Abstract no. P648

  3. Beuret C (2003) A simple method for isolation of enteric viruses (noroviruses and enteroviruses) in water. J Virol Methods 107:1–8

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Beuret C, Baumgartner A (2002) Empfohlenes Verfahren für den Nachweis von "Norwalk-like" Viren (NLV) und Enteroviren in Wasser. Mitt Lebensm Hyg 93:91–103

    Google Scholar 

  5. Benson DA, Karsch-Mizrachi I, Lipman DJ, Ostell J, Rapp BA, Wheeler DL (2002) GenBank. Nucleic Acids Res 30:17–20

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Becker KM, Moe CL, Southwick KL, McCormack JN (2000) Transmission of Norwalk virus during a football game. N Engl J Med 343:1223–1227

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Götz H, Ekdahl K, Lindbäck J, Jong B de, Hedlund KO, Giesecke J (2001) Clinical spectrum and transmission characteristics of infection with Norwalk-like virus: findings from large community outbreak in Sweden. CID 33:622–628

    Google Scholar 

  8. Public Health Laboratory Service (2002) Outbreaks of Norwalk-like virus infections. Commun Dis Rep CDR Weekly [serial online] 12:2–3

    Google Scholar 

  9. Koopmans M, Bonsdorff CH von, Vinje J, Medici D de, Monroe S (2002) Foodborne viruses. FEMS Microbiol Rev 26:187–205

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Green KY (1997) The role of human caliciviruses in epidemic gastroenteritis. Arch Virol (Suppl 13):153–165

    Google Scholar 

  11. Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (2002) Virale Gastroenteritis durch "Norwalk-like"-Viren: Epidemiologie, Diagnose und praktische Empfehlungen. Bulletin SFOPH 14:274–275

    Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors thank P. Capdepon, Direction Départementale des Affaires Sanitaires et Sociales des Hautes Pyrénées for his investigations in Lourdes, H. de Valk, Institut de Veille Sanitaire, Paris, for her cooperation; C. Sacher, Cantonal Physician of Schwyz, for his precious collaboration on site; P. Helbling, Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, for critical review of the manuscript.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. Baumgartner.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Fretz, R., Schmid, H., Kayser, U. et al. Rapid Propagation of Norovirus Gastrointestinal Illness Through Multiple Nursing Homes Following a Pilgrimage. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 22, 625–627 (2003).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: