Sapovirus was first identified in an outbreak in Sapporo, Japan in 1977. Sapovirus is a single-stranded RNA virus that belongs to the family Caliciviridae. It has been detected in shellfish and environmental water samples. Sapovirus can cause acute gastroenteritis in children and adults. Gastroenteritis outbreaks due to sapovirus have been reported in various settings such as child care centres, kindergartens, nursing homes, restaurants and schools.
Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal cramps, chills, headache, myalgia and malaise. Gastroenteritis symptoms are self-limiting and patients usually recover within a few days.
Mode of transmission
The primary mode of transmission is through the faecal-oral route. Sapovirus can be transmitted by food or water contaminated with the virus, by contact with the vomitus or faeces from infected persons or by contact with contaminated objects. Sapovirus shedding in faeces may continue for weeks after symptoms disappear.
The incubation period usually ranges from less than 1 day to 4 days.
Adequate fluids to prevent dehydration and supportive treatment should be provided.
No vaccine is available for sapovirus infection. As a general measure to prevent gastroenteritis, members of public are advised to:
Maintain good personal hygiene
Maintain good food hygiene
*Please visit the website of Centre for Food Safety for more information on food safety.
Maintain good environmental hygiene