Norovirus are the family of virus that cause mild to severe gastroenteritis. The virus embeds itself into the lining of the stomach and intestines and causes inflammation of the tissue causing the cells to burst and to release cellular fluid into the intestinal cavity, causing diarrhea. Other symptoms of the virus can include nausea, vomiting, headache, elevated temperature & flu like symptoms.
Symptoms of infection manifest themselves one to two days after exposure to the virus. It can seem almost immediate.
The virus is transmitted by the contact of food with fecal matter or with polluted water. This is the most common form of food poisoning.
Symptoms may continue for a period of from one to four days in healthy individuals, however, in the case of infants, the elderly and immunosuppressed individuals, hospitalization may be needed to administer fluids and anti viral medication.
The ways to prevent the risk of norovirus are as follows,
- to buy all food from a safe and reputable source.
- double wash hands before preparing food and do not eat while preparing food.
- rewash all food preparation surfaces and equipment before preparing food.
- do not mix animal dishes with those of humans.
- do not but eggs or egg shells on surfaces where food is being prepared.
- rewash your hands after touching eggs or food packaging of any sort.
- Do not put your hands in your mouth of touch your nasal cavities when preparing food.
- wear clean clothes and use freshly washed cloths and towels when preparing food. Remove watches and jewellery before preparing food and wash hands to above the wrists twice.
- Keep all fresh food refrigerated at 4 degrees celsius or less.
- Keep all cooked foods at 70 degrees celsius until served.
- make sure all cuts and wounds are bound securely with surgical tape while preparing food.
- wear head cover when preparing food.