Norovirus, Westchester County Food Safety

Norovirus

What is Norovirus?

Westchester Food Safety is a leader in Food Safety in Westchester County New York, here is some useful info in regards to Norovirus. Make sure you study this material for your exam. Here is some general info taken from the Westchester County Web site that you may find useful.

http://health.westchestergov.com/norovirus

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes severe stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

It is the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the US.

The loss of fluids from vomiting and diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration, especially among more vulnerable people.

Every year in the US:

About 1 out of 15 people contract Norovirus

More than 70,000 people are hospitalized due to Norovirus

Around 600-800 people die from Norovirus

 

How does it spread?

Norovirus is transmitted when an infected person doesn’t wash their hands properly and comes in contact with others.

The virus is shed in stool and vomit; so if an infected person doesn’t wash their hands after being ill or using the toilet they can easily spread it to other people.

Norovirus can live on surfaces for up to 2 weeks. A person can contract Norovirus by touching a contaminated surface (such as a doorknob or light switch) and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.

How is it treated?

There is no treatment or vaccine for Norovirus, so prevention is key.

It is important to drink plenty of fluids, including oral rehydration fluids, to prevent dehydration.

Most people with Norovirus get better in 1-3 days

How to prevent Norovirus infection?

Wash your hands—do not use alcohol based hand sanitizers as they are not effective against Norovirus.

Stay home when you are sick and return to work only when you have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours. Food and childcare workers should stay home for 72 hours after symptoms resolve.

Wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly.

Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces.

Separate contaminated clothing/linens when washing.

Wear gloves while cleaning bodily fluids and doing laundry.

 

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