May 9, 2012
Public health researchers identified a reusable grocery bag as the source of a 2010 norovirus outbreak that sickened seven children and adults from Oregon who attended a soccer tournament in neighboring Washington state.
The grocery bag contained cookies, potato chips and fresh grapes, and was kept in the bathroom of a hotel room where one of the girls who got sick stayed with an adult chaperone. The person who put the bag in the bathroom was not aware that someone in the room was ill.
“This is the first published report of norovirus infection without person-to-person transfer,” said Kimberly Repp, a case study co-author and now an epidemiologist with Oregon’s Washington County Health & Human Services. “Two groups of people were infected by transportation of an inanimate object.”