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Outbreak of norovirus at Osaka Prefecture hospital kills two, sickens 48, Kyodo says

Japan hospital
A hospital in Japan
TOKYO (TR) – Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases is warning of a possible epidemic after two people died and another 48 contracted the norovirus at a hospital in Daito, Osaka Prefecture, Kyodo News said.

Japanese doctors are trying to determine the exact source behind the outbreak at the hospital, which began last month. The two fatalities were a 76-year-old woman and a 82-year-old man, according to the news agency.

Common symptoms of the norovirus include diarrhea and vomiting. Most people begin recovery just days after first showing signs of the illness. Doctors say dehydration caused by the virus puts the young and the elderly at greater risk due to their weaker immune systems.

Kyodo reported The National Institute of Infectious Diseases as saying 2012 has shown some of the highest infection rates on record for the virus, according to their data.

Source: Kyodo News

Photo source: Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet