In an article in Infection Control Today (April 26, 2016), Norovirus is in the spotlight for the high cost of treating and lost wages. Many people think of Norovirus because it has been running rampant on cruise ships. It is awful when people on vacation are stricken by a virus that presents with severe gastrointestinal symptoms but what about the elderly and immunocompromised. It hits them harder and costs more to get them healthy.
A couple of years back I was contacted by a nursing home administrator to solicit my company’s help in eliminating the spread of Norovirus in his facility. He had already sent 13 residents to the hospital and 10 were in isolation. The financial part of the equation was pretty bad too. He had to put a hold on admissions and several of his staff were out sick with agency staff filling in. I am going out on a limb and guessing it costs that facility tens of thousands of dollars.
Dr Bruce Y. Lee said in the ICT article, “the costs associated with Norovirus are higher than many other diseases”. The economic argument for more attention to be put on educating the public on Norovirus is strong. Don’t you think $4.2 billion in healthcare costs and $60.3 billion in societal costs annually warrant some publicity? I do!!