When you hear someone say they have the “stomach flu” , its really not caused by the Influenza Virus. The illness, which includes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, is often related to a highly contagious virus called the “Norovirus“. This virus is often called the “cruise ship virus” because of several highly publicized outbreaks on cruise ships.
When someone says they think they got “food poisoning”, often Norovirus is the culprit. According to the CDC, Norovirus is the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States. The illness can be spread by eating or drinking contaminated food, contacting infected individuals, or touching contaminated surfaces. Norovirus related illnesses travel quickly in confined or crowded areas like cruise ships, nursing homes, daycares, and schools.
According to a June 3, 2014 article in USA Today, only 1% of all Norovirus cases are found on cruise ships. Further, 20 million Americans are sickened each year by the virus. Food handlers are responsible for 70% of Norovirus outbreaks related to food. See the link below to the USA TODAY article on this contagious virus.
What to do…. Norovirus is highly contagious. Meticulous cleaning and disinfecting is an important element of containing outbreaks. It is particularly recommended to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces that many people touch such as, door knobs. Multi-Clean makes two products with specific claims for Norovirus, these are Microcide TB Disinfectant Cleaner and Century Q Disinfecting Wipes.
USA TODAY Article on Norovirus: CLICK HERE