Updated 11:52 AM EST, Sat, Nov 27, 2021

Food Poisoning Symptoms & Cure: Norovirus is The Leading Cause of Foodborne Diseases, Says CDC

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When going on a cruise, people often warn you about your food intake and to prepare yourself for possible foodborne illnesses. The Norovirus, often referred to as the "cruise ship virus" is the number one cause of foodborne illness. However, this type of virus doesn't only attack your body while you're sailing across the sea.

Apparently there is more risk of contracting the virus while on land as the illness is most commonly contracted from food service settings, writes the Huffington Post

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that the virus infection spreads quite easily with common symptoms like vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea.

The basic fact is that anyone can contract Norovirus and get sick and you can get the virus multiple times in your lifetime. The CDC estimates that each year, an average of 19 to 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis are caused by Noroviruses. Simply put, 1 of every 15 Americans will come down with the illness and is the cause of approximately 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations with 570 to 800 deaths each year in the United States.

To date, there is no cure, vaccine or treatment for the Norovirus infection. Antibiotics will prove to be ineffective as antibiotics target bacteria and the Norovirus is precisely that, a virus.

The CDC outlines the steps one can take to prevent contracting Norovirus, which are as follows:

Practice proper hand hygiene - Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after coming from the bathroom, preparing food etc. If unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Take extra precaution while preparing food in the kitchen - Carefully handle and clean all food products before consumption.

Do not prepare food while infected - When ill, do not handle food and wait until you're fully recovered.

Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces - Maintain clean, sanitary and disinfected surfaces at all times by using bleach-based cleaners.

Wash laundry thoroughly - Handle soiled items carefully and clean immediately to avoid spreading the virus.

For more information on the Norovirus, see the CDC Norovirus fact sheet. 

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