Today’s Headlines: Norovirus, Mosquito-borne Disases, DNA Testing

CDC says restaurants responsible for most transmissions of Norovirus: While often associated with cruise ships, the CDC is now reporting that 70% of cases can be traced back to restaurants. “As few as 18 viral particles can make people sick. In other words, a speck of viruses small enough to fit on the head of pin is potent enough to infect more than 1,000 people, according to the CDC report, released Tuesday. The virus can spread rapidly in close quarters, as well, such as dormitories, military barracks and nursing homes.” (USA Today)

Mosquito-borne diseases on the rise in Florida: Cases of dengue fever and chikungunya have been discovered in Florida. Both diseases are known to be transmitted through mosquito bites and cases have been found in several Caribbean islands in recent months. “The Florida Department of Health announced 24 confirmed cases of dengue fever as of last week, and 18 confirmed cases of chikungunya, both viruses that do not have vaccines to prevent them and have not typically been found in North America, the CDC says.” (TIME)

DNA test leads to diagnosis: For the first time, a DNA test helped pinpoint the cause of an illness. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, used to test a 14-year-old boy and found that he had a rare bacterial infection. “The technique already has proved valuable for investigating mysterious disease outbreaks, and a number of scientists have begun to hope it can be adapted to the diagnosis of individual patients’ infections. Rather than test for a suspected pathogen, a doctor could simply run a DNA test that could identify the culprit no matter what it is — virus, bacterium, fungus or parasite.” (The New York Times)