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Old 12-07-2004, 09:45 PM   #1
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Wash Your Hands

Always wash your hands prior to prepping food. You can prevent the spread of food born disease. I am a nurse and just had to post this. It works :!: :!: :!:

Norwalk Virus Infection


Norwalk virus infection is an intestinal illness that often occurs in outbreaks.
Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses are increasingly being recognized as leading causes of foodborne disease in the United States.
The viruses are passed in the stool of infected persons. People get infected by swallowing stool-contaminated food or water. Outbreaks in the United States are often linked to raw oysters.
Infected people usually recover in 2 to 3 days without serious or long-term health effects.
To prevent Norwalk virus infection: 1) wash hands with soap and warm water after toilet visits and before preparing or eating food; 2) cook all shellfish thoroughly before eating; 3) wash raw vegetables before eating; and 4) dispose of sewage in a sanitary manner.


What is Norwalk virus infection?

Norwalk virus infection is an intestinal illness that often occurs in outbreaks.



What is the infectious agent that causes Norwalk virus infection?

Norwalk virus infection is caused by the Norwalk virus. The virus was first identified in 1972 after an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness in Norwalk, Ohio. Later, other viruses with similar features were described and called Norwalk-like viruses. These have since been classified as members of the calicivirus family.



Where is Norwalk virus found?

Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses are found worldwide. Humans are the only known hosts. The viruses are passed in the stool of infected persons.



How do people get Norwalk virus infection?

People get Norwalk virus infection by swallowing food or water that has been contaminated with stool from an infected person. Outbreaks in the United States are often linked to eating raw shellfish, especially oysters and clams. Shellfish become contaminated via stool from sick food handlers or from raw sewage dumped overboard by recreational and/or commercial boaters. Contaminated water, ice, eggs, salad ingredients, and ready-to-eat foods are other sources of infection.



Who is at risk for Norwalk virus infection?

Anyone can get Norwalk virus infection, but it may be more common in adults and older children.



What are the signs and symptoms of Norwalk virus infection?

Nausea
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Stomach cramps
Severe illness or hospitalization is uncommon. Infected persons usually recover in 2 to 3 days without serious or long-term health effects.


How soon after exposure do symptoms appear?

Symptoms usually appear in 1 to 2 days after swallowing contaminated food or water.



How is Norwalk virus infection diagnosed?

Laboratory diagnosis is difficult. Diagnosis is often based on the combination of symptoms and the short time of illness.



What is the treatment for Norwalk virus infection?

No specific treatment is available. Persons who are severely dehydrated might need rehydration therapy.



How common is Norwalk virus infection?

Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses are increasingly being recognized as leading causes of foodborne disease in the United States. However, since no routine diagnostic test is available, the true prevalence is not known. Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses have been linked to outbreaks of intestinal illness on cruise ships and in communities, camps, schools, institutions, and families.

Many oyster-related outbreaks of intestinal illness linked to Norwalk-like viruses have been reported in Louisiana, Florida, Maryland, and other states where oyster harvesting is common. In 1993, 73 people in Louisiana and about 130 others in the United States who ate oysters from Louisiana became ill. A malfunctioning sewage system was the cause of an outbreak in 1996. An outbreak in 1997 was linked to sewage from oyster-harvesting boats.



How can Norwalk virus be prevented?

Wash hands with soap and warm water after toilet visits and before preparing or eating food.
Cook all shellfish thoroughly before eating.
Wash raw vegetables before eating.
Dispose of sewage in a sanitary manner.
Food handlers with symptoms of Norwalk-like illness should not prepare or touch food.

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Old 12-07-2004, 09:49 PM   #2
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isn't also called intestinal flu?
just curious
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Old 12-07-2004, 10:22 PM   #3
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As someone who prepares food for a living...ya gotta has them hands thoroughly and all the time. Some people think they can get away with just wearing gloves, but there is so much cross-contamination EVERYWHERE!!!

Also, sanitizing work stations and equipment after washing, is very important also!!!
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Old 12-07-2004, 10:32 PM   #4
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when my baby got his first cold, both the doctor and my parents warned us to wash our hands before handling the baby. the doc said it was just good practice. my mom and dad, having raised 6 (and on grandchild #19), said that my dad always washed upand changed his clothes after work, before he would take care of us. he took the subway and bus home every night, so he could have come in contact with lots of germs. i drive in everyday, but i have come to follow the same practice. ya can't argue with a doctor's advice, and your parents' years of experience...
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Old 12-07-2004, 11:19 PM   #5
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Whew - had me worried for a momen, there. I live near Norwalk - California.

Intestinal flu, ptomaine, food poisoning.....the symptoms noted can apply to any number of causes - including drinking too much rotgut whiskey. (Yeah, that's from personal experience! :) )

Personal hygiene and sanitary treatment of foodstuffs is all very good - most particularly by restaant personnel. But I think perhaps a little too much emphasis has been pput on the subject in recent years.

Our immune systems actally benefit from having to fight off low level infections. It seems "use it or lose it" applies to some degree to the immune system, too.

As a child, cleanliness was not a major interest to me and also I caught every childhood disease known to Man. As an adult, I have apparently an excellent immune system: major as well as minor lacerations, etc., heal easily, often without medication of any kind.

But our immune systems are little better than our medicines at fighting viruses - so being careful is prudent.
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Old 12-08-2004, 01:01 AM   #6
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Hey Bang..........I'm a nurse also............I am constantly washing my hands..........I'm natorious when it comes to not toughing things in a public restroom....thats my biggest thing............I go through a lot of the paper towels in them cause I avoid touching anything. I can't stand it when they have those hand dryers because I always use a paper towel to open the door when exiting the restroom...........I know there are those out there that do their business and don't bother to wash their hands and then grab that door handle......ewwwwwwwwwww! I think being a nurse you are aware more of what germs are out there and take extra precautions like washing your hands constantly and using hand sanitizer.

My advice to everyone is to invest in a hand sanitizer. When washing your hands use an antibacterial soap and be sure to cause some friction between the soap and your hands............the right amount of time to lather up is the amount of time it takes you to sing Happy Birthday
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:05 AM   #7
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sizz, according to my doc, the antibacterial soaps, unless you get phiso-hex (sp?), or a professional medical one, do not work. they only kill off the weak bacteria, leaving the stronger ones to multiply, creating stronger bacteria. i mean, i guess they work as a soap, but you can't rely on them to do a better job on bacteria. the best thing i've researched is just regular ol' soap and hot water.
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
sizz, according to my doc, the antibacterial soaps, unless you get phiso-hex (sp?), or a professional medical one, do not work. they only kill off the weak bacteria, leaving the stronger ones to multiply, creating stronger bacteria. i mean, i guess they work as a soap, but you can't rely on them to do a better job on bacteria. the best thing i've researched is just regular ol' soap and hot water.
I've read the same thing, bucky. I don't use the anti-bacterial stuff at home at all. I just clean hard and thoroughly. And, like you said, HOT water is key. I've also read that to clean your hands of germs thoroughly, you need to wash them for a good amount of time (approximately the time it takes to sing the alphabet song)--not just a quick rinse.

It horrifies me how many people in my office don't wash their hands on a regular basis (if at all!). I'm like sizz and use a ton of paper towel--I'm sure people talk, but I don't care. I don't get sick nearly as much as the rest of them!
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:51 AM   #9
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I've seen people in pizza parlors making pizzas wearing gloves, then go check a customer out and handle money, then go back to making pizza.
What good do the gloves do then?
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Old 12-08-2004, 11:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SizzlininIN
My advice to everyone is to invest in a hand sanitizer.
Are you talking about the alcohol based hand sanitizers like Purell? I use those all the time. I have some in my car, at my desk in the office, and in both of my kitchens. Is using those products as good as washing with soap and water? I have been curious about this for a while. I wash my hands with soap and water, but when I just want a quick and easy cleaning or if I am somewhere that I can't wash up (in my car, camping, etc) then I find these hand sanitizers very handy.
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