|Group:||Group IV ((+)ssRNA)|
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), 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, and the "Norwalk-like virus" was replaced with Norovirus on the 8th Report of the ICTV in response to the approval of the new name of Norovirus at the 12th International Congress of Virology in Paris (2002). Because the genus Norovirus has only one species (Norwalk virus) as well as the fact 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, 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.
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. A press release and a newsletter were published by the ICTV, 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.
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