A norovirus outbreak that originated at a California restaurant sickened about 100 people, according to the San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health.
Jessie Burmester, an epidemiologist with the health department, told KSBY News that 97 cases were confirmed in connection with the outbreak earlier this month. While Ella Burmester did not reveal the name of the restaurant involved, she did reveal that the investigations consistently pointed to the same establishment.
“Our primary goal during investigations is to identify a common source or point of exposure,” Burmester said. “Until now, all the people who reported illnesses always provided the name of the restaurant.”
On May 15, the Department of Public Health officially declared an outbreak after receiving more than two reports from the same source of exposure. Subsequent investigations indicated that some affected individuals began experiencing symptoms as early as May 11.
Upon identifying the outbreak, the Department of Public Health took steps to prevent further spread of the norovirus. They demanded that the restaurant begin intensive cleaning and disinfection measures and launched an investigation to determine the source of the illnesses, according to Burmester.
Burmester provided information on the prevalence of norovirus outbreaks in California. “In California alone, we witness around 2,500 norovirus outbreaks each year.”
The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department urges people who suspect they may have contracted norovirus to seek medical attention and report their illness to local public health departments. Furthermore, they emphasize the importance of taking the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of infection, especially in settings where food is prepared and consumed.
norovirus symptoms the infection can include severe vomiting and/or diarrhea, nausea, muscle aches, fever and headache, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms usually begin 12 to 48 hours after infection. exposure and can last from one to three days. Most people recover without treatment; however, some may require medical attention for dehydration.
Norovirus is highly contagious and infected people can easily spread the infection to other people. The virus can live on surfaces for long periods of time. Airborne droplets from the vomit of infected people can also spread the virus to people and contaminate surfaces.
To prevent others from getting sick, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or caring for potentially infected people. Use soap and water to clean toilet bowls or other areas that may be soiled with feces or vomit.
Wash dirty clothes and bedding in hot water and detergent. Soft surfaces that cannot be washed can be steam cleaned.
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