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Norovirus Invades Restaurants
Written by Lauren McMillen
Last updated on June 06, 2014 @ 1:55PM
Created on June 05, 2014 @ 5:59PM

Nearly 20 million people get sick every year from a stomach bug known as the norovirus and most of the outbreaks from this disease come right from our own dinner plate.

Most of us think of the norovirus as a cruise-ship disease that we can only catch at sea, but now it's affecting millions of American's on land.

According to a new report from the CDC, norovirus is actually most commonly caught in restaurants, from food workers who are infected. The disease often spreads when workers prepare and touch food with their bare hands.

Researchers say it only takes a few seconds for your food to become contaminated. Cruise-ship related outbreaks only account for about 1% of cases.

So how do you know if you have norovirus? Signs and symptoms include, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach aches.

"Wash your hands before you consume food, make sure food is properly washed that has a peeling on it, and that your food is properly cooked so that the organisms is killed. Hand washing is one of the most important things we can do in the prevention and spread of disease and illness," said Margaret Howe, Nursing Director for the Clarksburg Health Department. 

With summer here, many people will be eating out more, causing the disease to be spread.

5 News talked to some of you today who said this might make you think again the next time you dine out.

"It would affect how often I go out. Everybody's afraid of getting sick and there are so many things out there anymore and most of it has been brought in from foreign countries and people over there," said Corrine Rowen, Upshur County resident.

"There are some people out there that do the right thing and do wash their hands. You're going to catch something no matter what precautions you take," said Zella Cogar, Webster County resident. 

The CDC says leafy greens and shellfish are the top food sources of the contamination.

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