(Seattle, WA) The first Norovirus lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Ed Yusen against Seattle Char., d/b/a The Habit Burger Grill in the current Seattle Norovirus outbreak.  The outbreak is linked to the Habit Burger Grill located at 1253 N. 205th St., Shoreline, Washington. Mr. Yusen is represented by Marler Clark, the Food Safety Law Firm. The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the State of Washington in King County.  Complaint: YUSEN stamped

On May 25, Ed Yusan went to the Habit restaurant in Shoreline, Washington with a friend for lunch. He ordered the #1 Charburger with fries and a drink. Ed woke up around 1-2 a.m. on Thursday, May 27th with severe abdominal pains and vomiting. His symptoms continually increased in severity to the point that Ed lost consciousness and hit his head on the bathroom counter. He awoke in a pool of blood and a gash in his head, and immediately proceeded to make his way to the emergency room at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, Washington.

When he arrived at the emergency room, Ed was treated approximately 6 hours, and left the hospital with seven staples in his head.

Ed learned after the fact that his dining companion also fell ill around on May 27 with similar symptoms. As of the date of filing this complaint, Ed continues to recover from his illness and related injuries.

As of June 3, 2021, Seattle and King County were investigating an outbreak of norovirus-like illnesses with vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, and chills. The illnesses were associated with Habit Burger Grill in Shoreline, Washington. There are 23 reported cases as of June 3, 2021, from six unrelated meal parties. The people who reported being ill had eaten at Habit between May 21-24. No ill employees have been identified.

The restaurant was required to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection before it was re-visited by investigators on May 28. They conducted onsite food safety and employee illness training with staff and reinforced cleaning, disinfection, handwashing, and no bare hand contact with ready to eat food. Health investigators intend to return to Habit again within two weeks’ time to ensure compliance.

Norovirus, commonly called “the stomach flu”, is the most prevalent foodborne illness. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that Norovirus causes 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis in the U.S each year. Norovirus is transmitted primarily through a fecal-oral route, person-to-person or through contamination of food or water.

Symptoms of Norovirus usually begin 12 to 48 hours after being exposed and typically last for about 1 to 3 days.

Symptoms include:

  • Sudden onset of vomiting and watery diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever

Norovirus causes a relatively short, intense illness in healthy individuals. However, in some cases, severe dehydration, malnutrition, and even death can result from Norovirus infection, especially among children, the elderly and immune-compromised adults.

Noroviruses can cause extended outbreaks because of their high infectivity, persistence in the environment, resistance to common disinfectants, and difficulty in controlling their transmission through routine sanitary measures. There is no specific treatment available for Norovirus.

The Marler Clark Norovirus lawyers have unmatched experience representing victims of foodborne illness. Our Norovirus lawyers have represented thousands of victims of notable Norovirus outbreaks. Marler Clark is the only firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on plaintiff foodborne illness litigation.

If you or a family member became ill with a Norovirus infection after consuming food and you are interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Norovirus attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Call toll-free at 800-884-9840 or complete the contact us form.

Summary

Public Health is investigating an outbreak of norovirus-like illness with vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, and chills associated with Mazatlan Restaurant in Auburn.

We have not identified how norovirus was spread within the restaurant. This is not uncommon for norovirus outbreaks because the virus can spread through multiple contaminated food items, environmental surfaces, and from person to person.

Illnesses

Since May 24, 2021, 13 people from one meal party reported becoming ill after consuming food from Mazatlan Restaurant on May 21, 2021. No ill employees have yet been identified.

Public Health actions

Environmental Health investigators visited the restaurant on May 26, 2021. Investigators did not find any risk factors that are known to contribute to the spread of norovirus. The restaurant closed voluntarily to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection. Investigators will revisit the restaurant within two weeks to ensure ongoing compliance with proper food handling practices.

Laboratory testing

We do not have laboratory testing for the people who got sick. Often in norovirus outbreaks, no laboratory testing is done because people tend to get better within a day or two. Symptoms among those who got sick are suggestive of norovirus.

Norovirus:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Norovirusoutbreaks. The Norovirus lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Norovirus and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $800 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Norovirus lawyers have litigated Norovirus cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a number of food products and restaurants.

If you or a family member became ill with Norovirus after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Norovirus attorneys for a free case evaluation.

According to Seattle King County Department of Health there appears to be a norovirus outbreak in Shoreline.

Summary

Public Health is investigating an outbreak of norovirus-like illness with vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, and chills associated with Habit Burger Grill in Shoreline.

We have not identified how norovirus was spread within the restaurant. This is not uncommon for norovirus outbreaks because the virus can spread through multiple contaminated food items, environmental surfaces, and from person to person.

Illnesses

Since May 24, 2021, 23 people from 6 unrelated meal parties reported becoming ill after consuming food from Habit Burger Grill from May 21-May 24, 2021. No ill employees have yet been identified.

Public Health actions

Environmental Health investigators visited the restaurant on May 26, 2021. Investigators did not find any risk factors that are known to contribute to the spread of norovirus. The restaurant was required to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection. Investigators revisited the restaurant on May 28 and conducted onsite food safety and employee illness training with staff and reinforced cleaning, disinfection, handwashing, and no bare hand contact with ready to eat foods. Investigators will revisit the restaurant within two weeks to ensure ongoing compliance with proper food handling practices.

Laboratory testing

We do not have laboratory testing for the people who got sick. Often in norovirus outbreaks, no laboratory testing is done because people tend to get better within a day or two. Symptoms among those who got sick are suggestive of norovirus.

Norovirus:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Norovirus outbreaks. The Norovirus lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Norovirus and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $800 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Norovirus lawyers have litigated Norovirus cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a number of food products and restaurants.

If you or a family member became ill with Norovirus after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Norovirus attorneys for a free case evaluation.

According to Seattle King County Department of Health there appears to be a norovirus outbreak in Shoreline.

Summary

Public Health is investigating an outbreak of norovirus-like illness with vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, and chills associated with Habit Burger Grill in Shoreline.

We have not identified how norovirus was spread within the restaurant. This is not uncommon for norovirus outbreaks because the virus can spread through multiple contaminated food items, environmental surfaces, and from person to person.

Illnesses

Since May 24, 2021, 23 people from 6 unrelated meal parties reported becoming ill after consuming food from Habit Burger Grill from May 21-May 24, 2021. No ill employees have yet been identified.

Public Health actions

Environmental Health investigators visited the restaurant on May 26, 2021. Investigators did not find any risk factors that are known to contribute to the spread of norovirus. The restaurant was required to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection. Investigators revisited the restaurant on May 28 and conducted onsite food safety and employee illness training with staff and reinforced cleaning, disinfection, handwashing, and no bare hand contact with ready to eat foods. Investigators will revisit the restaurant within two weeks to ensure ongoing compliance with proper food handling practices.

Laboratory testing

We do not have laboratory testing for the people who got sick. Often in norovirus outbreaks, no laboratory testing is done because people tend to get better within a day or two. Symptoms among those who got sick are suggestive of norovirus.

Norovirus:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Norovirusoutbreaks. The Norovirus lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Norovirus and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $800 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Norovirus lawyers have litigated Norovirus cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a number of food products and restaurants.

If you or a family member became ill with Norovirus after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Norovirus attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Marler Clark has been retained by several people who consumed Gerry’s donuts.

The following is a statement from the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) on the recent outbreak of gastrointestinal illness involving a food service establishment in Ellington:

DPH’s Epidemiology and Food Protection Programs, along with the State Laboratory, are collaborating with the North Central District Health Department in the investigation of an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness involving Gerry’s Donuts in Ellington that has now been confirmed through laboratory tests to be caused by norovirus. North Central District Health Department Warning for Consumers The North Central District Health Department is warning consumers not to eat food products from Gerry’s Donuts located in Ellington, Connecticut. The warning is being issued following the receipt of several reports of gastrointestinal illness from those who recently consumed donuts and other products from this establishment. Symptoms reported include vomiting and diarrhea. Gerry’s Donuts is currently closed while North Central District Health Department investigates the cause of the illness. Customers who still have any of the products should not consume or serve them and should discard them immediately. Those who are still experiencing illness should consult their healthcare provider.

Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. People of all ages can get infected and sick with norovirus. When a norovirus outbreak involves multiple persons from different towns, as is the case with this outbreak, it is not uncommon to see additional cases of norovirus occur because of person-to-person transmission of the virus in the community.

In general, you can help protect yourself and others from norovirus by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water.  You should also avoid preparing food for others, working in a day care center, health care facility or food service establishment if you have gastrointestinal symptoms – vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, low grade fever – and seek medical attention if those symptoms become severe. This is the second foodborne outbreak of norovirus reported to DPH in 2021 and a reminder of the importance of preventing foodborne illnesses. Between 2015 – 2019, an average of 10 norovirus foodborne outbreaks were reported to DPH each year. In 2020, there were three, all occurring between January – first week of March.

Norovirus:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Norovirus outbreaks. The Norovirus lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Norovirus and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $800 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Norovirus lawyers have litigated Norovirus cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a number of food products and restaurants.

If you or a family member became ill with Norovirus after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Norovirus attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Marler Clark’s food litigation attorneys have the most extensive experience representing victims of food poisoning outbreaks of any law firm in the United States. Our food poisoning lawyers have successfully represented thousands of victims of the largest food poisoning outbreaks across the country since 1993.

In 1998 Marler Clark was formed by the unlikely pairing of Bill Marler who represented the victims in the 1993 Jack-in-the-Box E. coli Outbreak and Bruce Clark who defended the company.  Since then Marler Clark has been involved in nearly every food poisoning lawsuit in the nation and around the world.  In addition to representing victims, Bill Marler has been a tireless food safety advocate and speaker on avoiding food contamination events.  See, Marler Clark informational video.

In 1998 as well, as Marler Clark developed expertise in foodborne pathogens, other than E. coli, we began to post information that we learned during litigation and working with some of the best experts in the world.  We share the “bug” websites below to share and to be linked to.

Botulism is a life-threatening paralytic illness caused by neurotoxins produced by an anaerobic, gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium—Clostridium botulinum. Botulism is a rare disease and only affects a few hundred persons each year in the United States. The vast majority of clinicians have never seen a patient with botulism.

Campylobacter is a genus of bacteria that is among the most common causes of bacterial diarrheal illness in humans worldwide. The name means “curved rod,” derived from the Greek campylos (curved) and baktron (rod). While there are dozens of species, three represent the main sources of human infection: Campylobacter jejuniCampylobacter coli, and Campylobacter lariC. jejuni is the most commonly implicated species.

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a unicellular, microscopic parasite that can cause food- or water-related gastrointestinal illness. The oocyst form of the parasite is chlorine-resistant and must sporulate in the environment before it is a viable infectious agent. Cyclospora cannot be transmitted directly from one person to another through infected fecal matter; the parasite must complete part of its lifecycle outside of a host.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a highly studied, common species of bacteria that belongs to the family Enterobacteriaceae, so named because many of its members live in the intestines of humans and warm-blooded animals.  Certain serotypes, like E. coli O157:H7 can cause human disease.

Viral hepatitis is a major global public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of people and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Five biologically unrelated hepatotropic viruses cause most of the global burden of viral hepatitis: hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis D (delta) virus (HDV), and hepatitis E virus (HEV). HBV, HCV, HDV, and, occasionally, HEV can produce chronic infections, whereas HAV does not.

Listeria is a gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium that is ubiquitous and can grow under either anaerobic (without oxygen) or aerobic (with oxygen) conditions. Listeriosis is one of the most important bacterial infections worldwide that arises mainly from the consumption of contaminated food. The disease is caused by Listeria monocytogenes, which is considered an opportunistic pathogen that affects mainly those with underlying immune conditions, such as pregnant women, neonates, and elders, resulting in septicemia, meningitis, and/or meningoencephalitis.

When someone talks about having “the stomach flu,” they are probably describing acute-onset gastroenteritis caused by one of the noroviruses, which are members of the “calcivirus” family (Caliciviridae). Noroviruses are entirely unrelated to influenza viruses.

The term Salmonella refers to a specific group of gram-negative bacteria with the potential to cause gastrointestinal distress and other illness (i.e. salmonellosis) in humans.

Recognized worldwide as the most common cause of dysentery, the Shiga bacillus—or Shigella—is a facultatively anaerobic, non-motile gram-negative rod belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae, so named because many of its members live in the intestines of humans and warm-blooded animals.

We have also developed a deep understanding of the various severe complication of foodborne illnesses.  We share the websites to share and to be linked to.

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a disorder in which the body’s immune response, typically to an infection, causes nerve damage. The syndrome is rare, affecting about one to two people in 100,000 each year. It can present as a very mild case of brief weakness to devastating paralysis, affecting the muscles that allow a person to breathe on their own. Fortunately, most people eventually recover from even the most severe cases of Guillain-Barré, although some are left with some level of weakness.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome was first described in 1955, but it was not known to be secondary to Escherichia coli (E. coli) infections until 1983. HUS is now recognized as a cause of acute kidney failure in infants and young children. Adolescents and adults are also susceptible, as are the elderly, who often have severe disease and are at significant risk of death from the disease.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. The hallmark symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain and altered bowel habits.

Formerly known as Reiter syndrome, reactive arthritis (ReA) is joint inflammation that occurs after a bacterial infection originating outside the joints (i.e., “extra-articular”).

For more information contact Bill Marler at 1-206-346-1890 or bmarler@marlerclark.com

Nearly 25 known individuals have reported experiencing gastro-intestinal illness symptoms to Southwest District Health (SWDH) since Friday, March 19. SWDH is currently investigating each reported illness to help determine the exact source and has confirmed 1 positive case of Norovirus. So far, there is a strong link to the Subway at 319 N 10th Ave in Caldwell, individuals that are reporting symptoms visited the establishment or received food from this location March 16-19.

The Subway involved is working cooperatively with SWDH following suspected presence of Norovirus and instituted mitigation measures to halt the spread of the virus. Following the inspection by SWDH, it was determined that the facility was following all guidance and recommendations.

Norovirus outbreaks are caused by a group of related viruses that account for more than 90 percent of gastrointestinal illness outbreaks in the United States each year. Noroviruses can be found in stool and vomit and are highly contagious. They are known for sweeping through close quarters and infecting a large number of people. Symptoms of Norovirus illness usually begin about 24 to 48 hours after close exposure to Norovirus and can appear as early as 12 hours after exposure and include:

Nausea
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Abdominal Cramps
Low-grade fever or none at all
Symptoms

People may feel very sick and vomit multiple times and/or have many loose stools a day. Most people get better within 1 or 2 days, and they have no long-term health effects related to their illness. However, shedding of the virus may continue for 1-2 weeks. At times, affected individuals, usually the very young and elderly may become dehydrated as they are unable to drink enough liquids to replace the liquids lost because of vomiting and diarrhea.

Prevention

The spread of Norovirus can be prevented by practicing proper hand hygiene. Important strategies include washing hands with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers, and always before eating and preparing or handling food. The community should be aware that with these reported outbreak individuals should use good hand hygiene and stay home if sick until 48 to 72 hours without symptoms.

If You Have Symptoms

SWDH encourages anyone who is experiencing symptoms of fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and/or vomiting they believe could be related to something they ate, to talk to their health care provider. Anyone who is ill with these symptoms should stay home to help prevent the spread to others. It is important to practice proper hand hygiene, cleaning surfaces, and not preparing food for others if possible as these are common routes of transmission. If you believe you were exposed, you should contact the SWDH reporting line about your illness by phone at 208-455-5442

See https://about-norovirus.com

Norovirus:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Norovirus outbreaks. The Norovirus lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Norovirus and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $750 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Norovirus lawyers have litigated Norovirus cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a number of food products and restaurants.

If you or a family member became ill with Norovirus after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Norovirus attorneys for a free case evaluation.

At least 100 customers in Illinois sick with the Norovirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that noroviruses cause nearly 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis annually, making noroviruses the leading cause of gastroenteritis in adults in the United States. According to a relatively recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine,

The Norwalk agent was the first virus that was identified as causing gastroenteritis in humans, but recognition of its importance as a pathogen has been limited because of the lack of available, sensitive, and routine diagnostic methods. Recent advances in understanding the molecular biology of the noroviruses, coupled with applications of novel diagnostic techniques, have radically altered our appreciation of their impact. Noroviruses are now recognized as being the leading cause of epidemics of gastroenteritis and an important cause of sporadic gastroenteritis in both children and adults.

Of the viruses, only the common cold is reported more often than a norovirus infection—also referred to as viral gastroenteritis.

What is the Norovirus?

Nature has created an ingenious bug in norovirus. The round blue ball structure of norovirus is actually a protein surrounding the virus’s genetic material. The virus attaches to the outside of cells lining the intestine, and then transfers its genetic material into those cells. Once the genetic material has been transferred, norovirus reproduces, finally killing the human cells and releasing new copies of itself that attach to more cells of the intestine’s lining.

Norovirus (previously called “Norwalk-like virus” or NLV) is a member of the family Caliciviridae. The name derives from the Latin for chalice—calyx—meaning cup-like and refers to the indentations of the virus surface. The family of Caliciviridae consists of several distinct groups of viruses that were first named after the places where outbreaks occurred. The first of these outbreaks occurred in 1968 among schoolchildren in Norwalk, Ohio. The prototype strain was identified four years later, in 1972, and was the first virus identified that specifically caused gastroenteritis in humans. Other discoveries followed, with each strain name based on the location of its discovery—e.g., Montgomery County, Snow Mountain, Mexico, Hawaii, Parmatta, Taunton, and Toronto viruses. A study published in 1977 found that the Toronto virus was the second most common cause of gastroenteritis in children. Eventually this confusing nomenclature was resolved, first in favor of calling each of the strains a Norwalk-like virus, and then simply, a norovirus – the term used today.

Humans are the only host of norovirus, and norovirus has several mechanisms that allow it to spread quickly and easily. Norovirus infects humans in a pathway similar to the influenza virus’ mode of infection. In addition to their similar infective pathways, norovirus and influenza also evolve to avoid the immune system in a similar way. Both viruses are driven by heavy immune selection pressure and antigenic drift, allowing evasion of the immune system, which results in outbreaks. Norovirus is able to survive a wide range of temperatures and in many different environments. Moreover, the viruses can spread quickly, especially in places where people are in close proximity, such as cruise ships and airline flights, even those of short duration. As noted by the CDC in its Final Trip Report,

noroviruses can cause extended outbreaks because of their high infectivity, persistence in the environment, resistance to common disinfectants, and difficulty in controlling their transmission through routine sanitary measures.

Norovirus outbreaks can result from the evolution of one strain due to the pressure of population immunity. Typically, norovirus outbreaks are dominated by one strain, but can also involve more than one strain. For example, some outbreaks associated with shellfish have been found to contain up to seven different norovirus strains. Swedish outbreak studies also reveal a high degree of genetic variability, indicating a need for wide detection methods when studying these outbreaks.

By way of further example, in 2006, there was a large increase in the number of norovirus cases on cruise ships. Norovirus cases were increasing throughout Europe and the Pacific at the same time. One issue with cruise ships is the close contact between people as living quarters are so close, and despite education efforts, there still seems to be a lack of public understanding regarding how the illness is spread. On the other hand, reporting occurs much more quickly in these situations because of the close proximity and concentration of illness, allowing for the quicker detection of outbreaks. Cruise ship outbreaks often occur when new strains of norovirus are appearing, providing a good indicator system for new norovirus strains.  In this case, two new variants appeared within the global epidemic genotype, suggesting a strong pressure for evolution against the human immune system. This points to the need for an international system of guidelines in tracing norovirus outbreaks.

How is norovirus transmitted?

Norovirus causes nearly 60% of all foodborne illness outbreaks. Norovirus is transmitted primarily through the fecal-oral route, with fewer than 100 norovirus particles needed to cause infection. Transmission occurs either person-to-person or through contamination of food or water.  CDC statistics show that food is the most common vehicle of transmission for noroviruses; of 232 outbreaks of norovirus between July 1997 and June 2000, 57% were foodborne, 16% were spread from person-to-person, and 3% were waterborne. When food is the vehicle of transmission, contamination occurs most often through a food handler improperly handling a food directly before it is eaten.

Infected individuals shed the virus in large numbers in their vomit and stool, shedding the highest number of viral particles while they are ill.  Aerosolized vomit has also been implicated as a mode of norovirus transmission. Previously, it was thought that viral shedding ceased approximately 100 hours after infection; however, some individuals continue to shed norovirus long after they have recovered from it, in some cases up to 28 days after experiencing symptoms. Viral shedding can also precede symptoms, which occurs in approximately 30% of cases. Often, an infected food handler may not even show symptoms. In these cases, people can carry the same viral load as those who do experience symptoms.

A Japanese study examined the ability of asymptomatic food handlers to transfer norovirus. Approximately 12% of asymptomatic food handlers were carriers for one of the norovirus genotypes. This was the first report of norovirus molecular epidemiology relating asymptomatic individuals to outbreaks, suggesting that asymptomatic individuals are an important link in the infectivity pathway. Asymptomatic infection may occur because some people may have acquired immunity, which explains why some show symptoms upon infection, and some do not. Such immunity does not last long, though. These discoveries reveal just how complicated the pathway of norovirus infection is, as well as how difficult it is to define the true period of infectivity. Furthermore, it remains unclear why some people do not become sick with norovirus even when they are exposed. Very little is known about the differences in hygiene practices, behaviors, and personal susceptibility between those who become infected and those who do not, which brings up the potential for more research. Discrepancies exist in the published research about infective doses for norovirus, with earlier studies having used a much higher dose to trigger immune responses.

Symptoms & Risks of Norovirus Infection

Norovirus illness usually develops 24 to 48 hours after ingestion of contaminated food or water. Symptoms typically last a relatively short amount of time, approximately 24 to 48 hours. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.  Headache and low-grade fever may also accompany this illness. People infected with norovirus usually recover in two to three days without serious or long-term health effects.

Although symptoms usually only last one to two days in healthy individuals, norovirus infection can become quite serious in children, the elderly, and immune-compromised individuals. In some cases, severe dehydration, malnutrition, and even death can result from norovirus infection, especially among children and among older and immune-compromised adults in hospitals and nursing homes. In England and Wales, 20% of those over the age of 65 die due to infectious intestinal illness other than Clostridium difficile. Recently, there have been reports of some long-term effects associated with norovirus, including necrotizing entercolitis, chronic diarrhea, and post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome, but more data is needed to support these claims.

Diagnosing a Norovirus Infection

Diagnosis of norovirus illness is based on the combination of symptoms, particularly the prominence of vomiting, little fever, and the short duration of illness.  If a known norovirus outbreak is in progress, public health officials may obtain specimens from ill individuals for testing in a lab. These lab tests consist of identifying norovirus under an electron microscope. A reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction test (RT-PCR assay) also can detect norovirus in food, water, stool samples, and on surfaces. These tests isolate and replicate the suspected virus’ genetic material for analysis. An ELISA can also be performed, which detects antigens. They are easier to perform than RT-PCR, but less sensitive and can also result in many false negatives.

Treating a Norovirus Infection

There is no specific treatment available for norovirus. In most healthy people, the illness is self-limiting and resolves in a few days; however, outbreaks among infants, children, elderly, and immune-compromised populations may result in severe complications among those affected.  Death may result without prompt measures. The replacement of fluids and minerals such as sodium, potassium and calcium – otherwise known as electrolytes – lost due to persistent diarrhea is vital. This can be done either by drinking large amounts of liquids, or intravenously.

Recent research has looked into the potential for developing a norovirus vaccine. Researchers indicate that coming up with a norovirus vaccine would be similar to vaccinating for influenza, by using screening in order to select for the most prevalent strains. This is a quite challenging process. Other challenges include the fact that cell culture and small-animal models are limited, host pre-exposure histories are complicated, and there is always the potential for the evolution of novel immune escape variants, rendering the vaccine useless. Furthermore, scientists would likely face a lack of funding to develop a vaccine because vaccine development is expensive.

Preventing Norovirus Infection

Common settings for norovirus outbreaks include restaurants and events with catered meals (36%), nursing homes (23%), schools (13%), and vacation settings or cruise ships (10%). Proper hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of norovirus.

The good news about norovirus is that it does not multiply in foods as many bacteria do. In addition, thorough cooking destroys this virus.  To avoid norovirus, make sure the food you eat is cooked completely. While traveling in in areas that have polluted water sources, raw vegetables should be washed thoroughly before being served, and travelers should drink only boiled drinks or carbonated bottled beverages without ice.

Shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) pose the greatest risk and any particular serving may be contaminated with norovirus; there is no way to detect a contaminated oyster, clam, or mussel from a safe one.  Shellfish become contaminated when their waters become contaminated—e.g., when raw sewage is dumped overboard by recreational or commercial boaters).  Shellfish are filter feeders and will concentrate virus particles present in their environment. With shellfish, only complete cooking offers reliable protection; steaming does not kill the virus or prevent its transmission.  Some researchers suggest that norovirus monitoring in shellfish areas could be a good preventive strategy as well.  Waterborne norovirus outbreaks are ubiquitous, but difficult to recognize. Improved analysis of environmental samples would have the potential to significantly improve the detection for norovirus in shellfish waters.

Finally, and as briefly mentioned earlier, outbreaks of norovirus infections have become synonymous with cruise ships. Healthcare facilities also experience a high incidence of norovirus outbreaks.  The CDC has published information regarding the prevention of norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships and in healthcare facilities on its website. Once a case has occurred, even more stringent hygienic measures than normal are required in order to prevent an outbreak, particularly on an enclosed space such as a cruise ship.

References

  1. American Public Health Association (APHA), Heymann, David L., editor, “Norovirus Infection,” in CONTROL OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASES MANUAL, pp. 227-29, (18th 2008).
  2. Antonio, J, et al., “Passenger Behaviors During Norovirus Outbreaks on Cruise Ships,” INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF TRAVEL MAGAZINE, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 172-176 (May-June 2008). Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18494694
  3. Benson, V. and Merano, M.A., “Current estimates from the National Health Interview Survey 1995,” VITAL HEALTH STATISTICS, SERIES 10 (Nat’l Center for Health Statistics 1998). Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9914773
  4. Cáceres, VM, et al., “A viral gastroenteritis outbreak associated with person-to-person spread among hospital staff,” INFECTION CONTROL AND HOSPITAL EPIDEMIOLOGY, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 162-7 (March 1998). Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9552183
  5. CDC, Norovirus:  Technical Fact Sheet, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site,http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/norovirus-factsheet.htm (last modified on August 24, 2011) (last checked on Jan. 3, 2012).
  6. CDC, Norovirus in Healthcare Facilities Fact Sheet, released December 21, 2006, available through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/downloads/noro-hc-facilities-fs-508.pdf (last checked on January 4, 2012).
  7. CDC, Facts about Norovirus on Cruise Ships, last updated July 20, 2009, available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/pub/Norovirus/Norovirus.htm (last checked on January 4, 2012).
  8. CDC, “Outbreaks of Gastroenteritis Associated with Noroviruses on Cruise Ships – United States, 2002,” MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY WEEKLY REPORT, Vol. 51, No. 49, pp. 1112-15 (Dec. 13, 2002). Full text available online at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5149a2.htm
  9. CDC, “Updated Norovirus Outbreak Management and Disease Prevention Guidelines,” MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY WEEKLY REPORT, Vol. 60, Recommendations and Reports No. 3, pp. 1-15 (March 4, 2011). Full text available online at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6003a1.htm
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  14. Gerencher, Christine L., Reporter, “Understanding How Disease Is Transmitted via Air Travel: Summary of a Symposium,” Conference Proceedings 47, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies (2010). Full summary available online at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/conf/CP47.pdf
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  18. Harris, JP, et al., “Deaths from Norovirus among the Elderly, England and Wales,” EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES, Vol. 14, No. 10, pp. 1548-1552 (Oct. 2008). Full text available online athttp://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/14/10/08-0188_article.htm
  19. Kirkland, KB, et al., “Steaming oysters does not prevent Norwalk-like gastroenteritis,” PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTS, Vol. 111, pp. 527-30 (1996). Full text available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1381901/pdf/pubhealthrep00045-0057.pdf
  20. Maunula, L, Miettinen, IT, and Bonsdorff, CH, “Norovirus Outbreaks from Drinking Water,” EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES, Vol. 11, No. 11, pp. 1716-1721 (2005). Full text available online at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/content/11/11/pdfs/v11-n11.pdf
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  22. Lowther, J, Henshilwood, K, and Lees DN, “Determination of Norovirus Contamination in Oysters from Two Commercial Harvesting Areas over an Extended Period, Using Semiquantitative Real-Time Reverse Transcription PCR,” JOURNAL OF FOOD PROTECTION, Vol. 71, No. 7, pp. 1427-1433 (2008). Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18680943
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Norovirus:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Norovirus outbreaks. The Norovirus lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Norovirus and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $750 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Norovirus lawyers have litigated Norovirus cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a number of food products and restaurants.

If you or a family member became ill with Norovirus after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Norovirus attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Arby’s, located at 3009 S. Dirksen Pkwy. in Springfield, Illinois is closed again after at least 100 food poisoning cases were reported.

Arby’s reopened last week after several reports of food poisoning from the restaurant were made.

As of Wednesday, March 10, 92 people reported getting sick after eating from there.

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health said this location has closed again for deep cleaning and employee training.

The health department recommended the closure, cleaning, and training, and Arby’s agreed to it.

County health officials confirmed the norovirus was the cause of the food poisoning outbreak.

Norovirus:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Norovirus outbreaks. The Norovirus lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Norovirus and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $750 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Norovirus lawyers have litigated Norovirus cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a number of food products and restaurants.

If you or a family member became ill with Norovirus after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Norovirus attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Norovirus is a member of the “calcivirus” family (Caliciviridae). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that noroviruses cause nearly 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis annually, making noroviruses the leading cause of gastroenteritis in adults in the United States. Norovirus is highly contagious and transmitted by infected individuals at an enormous rate.

Here is the update:  https://about-norovirus.com/

Norovirus:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Norovirus outbreaks. The Norovirus lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Norovirus and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $750 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Norovirus lawyers have litigated Norovirus cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a number of food products and restaurants.

If you or a family member became ill with Norovirus after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Norovirus attorneys for a free case evaluation.