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SCI/162 PRINCIPLES OF HEALTH AND WELLNESS
2/9/2014

Foodborne Illness Short Answer Questions

Norovirus

* What is the infectious agent (pathogen) that causes this infectious disease?

I choose the Norovirus to discuss and how this foodborne illness is spread. This illness is viral and lives not only in contaminated foods or drinks but also on surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus by direct contact with an individual or food. The infectious agent are known as noroviruses and sapoviruses which cause acute gastroenteritis. The norovirus (NV) is a member of the Caliciviridae family which causes the acute gastroenteritis in people worldwide.

* What is an example of a real life outbreak of this foodborne illness in the United States?

An outbreak of this type of foodborne illness comes when one is in contact with when an individual who is infected and handles food preparation or shares food or eating utensils. The norovirus (NV) is an extremely contagious illness that is spread by the ingestion of contaminated food such as raw oysters or water. This is spread from person-to-person transmission such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes and most recently cruise ships. There has recently been an outbreak of this type of illness of several cruise lines that have caused trips to be cancelled and returned to port early.

* What are the clinical symptoms, duration of the disease, and treatment if any?

The clinical symptoms of this illness include serious stomach pain that can be severe at times, along with vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. The incubation period before an individual starts to feel symptoms is approximately twelve to forty-eight hours after being exposed. One tends to unfortunately experience a greater degree of diarrhea in adults and with children it tends to be more vomiting. The symptoms of this type of illness can last as little as one day to three days. However, those that are very young or older adults the illness is known to last for a length of six days.

* What steps can be taken to prevent further outbreaks? Include individual as well as environmental precautions and methods.

Steps that can be taken by individuals or businesses to prevent this type of contagious illness spreading are to wash hands frequently and thoroughly. By washing one’s hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds, especially after using the restroom, stops the threat of contaminating others particularly if one is preparing food. If an individual is working in a restaurant environment or working in a kitchen (ex: hospital) one should avoid handling food items barehanded or use gloves to help prevent the spread of foodborne illness. All surfaces that individuals and/or food comes in contact with should be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly with a bleach based cleaner. With using this type of powerful cleaning agent, this sanitizes surfaces and stops the spread of illnesses.…...

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