Wednesday, March 8, 2017


I just checked this blog and found that I had 33 posts dealing with Norovirus. Many of them have well over a thousand hits. The most popular ones are those which deal with Norovirus on cruise ships. That is a very common place for large outbreaks caused by this nasty virus. But sizeable Norovirus outbreaks have also occurred in restaurants, nursing homes, catered receptions and, in schools, where they have been occurring a lot recently in the U.S.

Why these places? True the virus is highly contagious. But there is another reason - these are all places where food is prepared by food service workers. Low income food service workers, with no health insurance, often turn up for work when they are ill so that they don't lose the wages they need to live on. In fact, if they have been ill with this virus, they should actually stay home for at least two days after they feel fine, because they could still be contagious. But of course, they don't. Can you blame them?

It estimated that at least 21 million people in the U.S. get sick from Norovirus every year, and some 70,000 or so are sick enough to end up in hospital. Those who die are often already ill or are older people who become very badly dehydrated. That is why I have often warned seniors not to eat at salad bars, which are a common place for the virus to hide out.


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