While newspaper and internet headlines might have some who don’t know any better believing that norovirus, or the winter vomiting bug as it is known, is reserved solely for cruise passengers at sea, it’s always nice when actual science allows cooler heads to prevail.
And so it is with a new study from experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the actual scientists who are dispatched to investigate ships operating in North American waters when an outbreak of the virus is recorded.
With this in mind, it makes for interesting reading to note that their new research suggests only about one per cent of all reported cases are from cruise ship outbreaks.
In incidents where the source of contamination is known, the majority (70 per cent) come from food workers, with roughly half of these resulting from them touching ‘ready-to-eat’ foods with their bare hands.
The CDC recommends food workers reduce the risks by washing their hands carefully using soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, doing so whenever they use the restroom especially.