Norovirus: Gastroenteritis and Proper Hand Washing

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Norovirus
Laura McCaustland
SCI/163
December 20, 2011
William P. Spangler

Norovirus
I chose the Norovirus as the food borne illness to write about. Norovirus know as viral gastroenteritis that is part of the Caliciviridae family. Most people think of it as the stomach bug or flu, food poisoning. This is a non-enveloped virus that causes acute gastroenteritis in humans. The most common symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. Previously known as Norwalk-Like viruses (NLV) Norovirus is the official genus name for this group of viruses. This virus is spread person to person, contaminated food or water and by touching contaminated surfaces. It is highly contagious illness since it can be passed on so easily from our food or people were in contact with. In the United States Norovirus is the leading cause of food borne disease outbreaks. Once occurrence happen just this on December 8th at a nursing home in South Dakota were 54 people 43 residents and 11 staff contracted the virus. The nursing home houses 215 residents showing that nearly twenty five percent of them caught the virus so easily. Most people once they contracted the virus will get better within one to two days. You need to make sure that you keep yourself hydrated since the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea will cause dehydration. Dehydrations can be very harmful to the very young and elderly. But they are still contagious from when they begin to feel sick till three day or as long as two weeks after they are well. This makes controlling the disease more difficult. There are vaccines or drugs to either prevent or treat people with Norovirus. The only preventions are to practice proper hand washing hygiene when either preparing food, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers. Cleaning and disinfect contaminated area or surfaces included washing of the laundry. This is the only way to try and prevent getting the virus. But they say that everyone will be infected more than...
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