Norovirus (Norwalk Virus)
Norovirus is the leading cause of disease outbreaks from contaminated food in the United States. Norovirus is a very contagious virus that can infect anyone. You can get it from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. This virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed. This makes you have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.
Protect Yourself From Norovirus
- Cook shellfish to 140 degrees or higher
- Wash your hands often
- When you are sick, don't prepare food or care for others
- Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly
- After vomiting or having diarrhea, clean and disinfect surfaces
Norovirus is very easy to get, and hard to get rid of. Norovirus is nothing like the flu. The flu only last for a couple of days. Norovirus can last for weeks. Hand sanitizer can not get rid of the virus like it can with the flu.
It doesn't take long to get sick from Norovirus. Not only does it not take long but also it takes weeks to get rid of the virus.
Norovirus has been sending hundreds of cruise ship passengers at a time running for the bathrooms and for steering entire ships back to port early.
Health officials track illness on cruise ships. So outbreaks are found and reported more quickly on a cruise ship than on land.Close living quarters may increase the amount of group contact.People joining the ship may bring the virus to other passengers and crew.
How do you get Norovirus?
Touching objects or surfaces that are contaminated with the virus, and then touching one's mouth.Consuming food or drink that is contaminated with the virus. Swallowing particles that are dispersed in the air after an infected person has vomited. There is no vaccine to prevent norovirus infection and no drug to treat it.
Norovirus Has Many Names
You may hear norovirus illness called "food poisoning" or "stomach flu." Food poisoning can be caused by noroviruses. But, other germs and chemicals can also cause food poisoning.
Norovirus always has the highest outbreaks in the winter. In 1929, Dr. J. Zahorsky was the first one to notice the virus. He called it "winter vomiting disease." In 1968 in Norwalk, Ohio, there was an outbreak of gastroenteritis thought to be caused by a virus.