Sci/163 Food Illness, Norovirus

Topics: Gastroenteritis, Norovirus, Marin County, California Pages: 2 (456 words) Published: April 5, 2013

Sami Zavala
Joan Rotnem

Norovirus is a family of viruses that cause gastroenteritis in humans and some animals (Ballantyne, 3/30). Gastroenteritis is an intestinal flu. The original norovirus is called the Norwalk virus. The Norwalk virus, along with other similar viruses, makes up norovirus. Norovirus is spread through fecal matter from an infected person. The fecal matter can be passed by shaking hands from an infected person who did not wash their hands after using the bathroom. Putting your hands in your mouth after touching contaminated areas like doorknobs could also make you infected. Another way you could catch norovirus is by eating food prepared by someone who has not washed his or her hands. The live virus can still be passed on even is the person is not ill. Foods such as oysters are considered high risk for catching norovirus because of the fact that they are sometimes harvested in water contaminated with fecal matter. Symptoms for norovirus can start from one to two days after becoming infected. The symptoms of the disease vary from person to person. You could have abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting to not obtaining any symptoms at all (Ballantyne, 3/30). There are no real treatments for norovirus. By drinking plenty of fluids and keeping hydrated most people get better in two to three days. A recent outbreak of norovirus took place in one of the countries largest nursing homes called Country Villa Novato Healthcare Center, located in Novato, California, (Halstead, 11/2). Since the outbreak began on November six, 80 people have become ill. Two residents who became sick were hospitalized (Halstead, 11/2). The Marin county public health officials have quarantined the nursing home so the environmental health officials will have to wait until the quarantine has been lifted to send an inspector to the center.

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