According to a new study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), norovirus sent nearly 1 million children under age five in the U.S. to the doctor or hospital in 2009 and 2010. Reporting from Time Magazine claim that treating those youngsters can cost an estimated $273 million a year.

Based on findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine, an estimated 1 in 278 kids will be hospitalized for norovirus infection by the time they turn five, about 1 in 14 will visit an emergency room and 1 in 6 will receive out patient treatment.

There are new vaccines to fight norovirus, but those in the custodial or environmental services industries should focus their attention on disinfection and minimizing cross-contamination in an effort to prevent the spread of this virus.

According to the CDC, the virus, which inflames the lining of the stomach and intestines, causes 21 million cases of illness, 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths in the U.S. annually. A little more than half of the cases are passed from person to person. Proper disinfection of surfaces and elimination of cross-contamination will go a long way to minimize the spread.

For more information on proper disinfection, click here. To continue reading this Time article, click here.