Norwalk virus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Norwalk virus
Norovirus EM PHIL 2172 lores.jpg
Virus classification
Group: Group IV ((+)ssRNA)
Family: Caliciviridae
Genus: Norovirus
Species: Norwalk virus

Norwalk virus, also known as winter vomiting virus, is a virus named after Norwalk, Ohio, in the United States, where an outbreak of acute viral gastroenteritis occurred among children at Bronson Elementary School in November 1968.

Viruses are classified into family, genus, and species by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV),[1] and Norwalk virus is the only species of the genus Norovirus, which belongs to the family Caliciviridae. Formerly, Norwalk virus was included in the genus "Norwalk-like virus" between 1999 and 2002,[2][3] and the "Norwalk-like virus" was replaced with Norovirus on the 8th Report of the ICTV[4] in response to the approval of the new name of Norovirus at the 12th International Congress of Virology in Paris (2002).[5] Because the genus Norovirus has only one species[6] (Norwalk virus) and that the genus "Norwalk-like virus" was officially replaced with the genus Norovirus, these often cause confusion on the correct usage of the term Norovirus and that of Norwalk virus. Currently,[when?] the term norovirus has been more frequently used in the media and by health authorities.

It is quite difficult to prevent the spread of Norwalk virus.[7]

The ICTV received a request to rename the genus in 2011 because children in Japan and elsewhere who have the family name "Noro" may be teased or bullied by others. The ICTV circulated the concerns to many international virologists, including those who originally proposed the taxonomic name, and the concerns were extensively discussed. The ICTV published a press release[8] and a newsletter,[9] which strongly encourage the media, national health authorities and the scientific community to use the virus name Norwalk virus, rather than the term norovirus, when referring to outbreaks of the disease. The ICTV regards the usage of the term norovirus as incorrect when referring to outbreaks actually due to Norwalk virus because there is no virus species called norovirus.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Virus Taxonomy: 2011 Release (current)". International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. 
  2. ^ Pringle CR (1999). "Virus Taxonomy at the XIth International Congress of Virology, Sydney, Australia, 1999". Archives of Virology. 144 (10): 2065–2070. doi:10.1007/s007050050728. PMID 10550679. 
  3. ^ Pringle CR (1999). "Virus Taxonomy – 1999. The universal system of virus taxonomy, updated to include the new proposals ratified by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses during 1998". Archives of Virology. 144 (2): 421–429. doi:10.1007/s007050050515. PMID 10470265. 
  4. ^ "Virus Taxonomy: 2005 Release (8th Report)". International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. 
  5. ^ Mayo MA (2002). "A summary of taxonomic changes recently approved by ICTV". Archives of Virology. 147 (8): 1655–1663. doi:10.1007/s007050200039. PMID 12181683. 
  6. ^ Andrew M.Q. King; Elliot Lefkowitz; Michael J. Adams; Eric B. Carstens, eds. (2011). "Family – Caliciviridae". Virus Taxonomy: Ninth Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. Amsterdam: Elsevier. pp. 977–986. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-384684-6.00084-7. ISBN 978-0-12-384684-6. 
  7. ^ "Getting Rid of Norovirus". The New York Times. April 1, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Press release". International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, Virology Division-IUMS. Sep 14, 2011. [verification needed]
  9. ^ "2011 ICTV Newsletter #9, November 2011". International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. November 14, 2011.