Food workers may be to blame for spreading norovirus

Food Workers Might Be To Blame For Spreading Norovirus

When you get sick after eating a meal, it's easy to blame the food. But maybe you're pointing a finger in the wrong direction. HLN reports: "According to the CDC, about 20 million Americans get the norovirus every year. And it says that food workers are most likely to blame for spreading it."

The norovirus is extremely contagious and is known to cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach aches. The virus is often called food poisoning or the stomach flu.

It recently made news when a Caribbean Princess cruise was cut short in January after more than 160 passengers reported they were sick. The Washington Times says health officials determined the illness was norovirus.

Workers sometimes come to work sick, unintentionally spreading the virus. And WOWT reports passengers who are then infected might not get the medical attention they expect.

"Many people believe they are boarding a floating hospital, but a cruise ship is more like a floating hotel with a doctor at hand."

And we can all agree that getting sick while you're trying to relax on a vacation is not the kind of trip you were looking forward to.

But there are ways to stay healthy, and you can probably guess the most obvious tip is to ... yup, wash your hands.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more common-sense tips for avoiding this illness. Although they're helpful for anyone, on a cruise many of these would apply to employees:
  • Wash produce and cook meat thoroughly
  • Don't make food for others when you're ill
  • Clean off dirty surfaces
  • Wash laundry thoroughly
But if you do contract the virus, you do have medical rights as a passenger. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, you have "the right to have emergency medical attention as needed until shoreside medical care becomes available."

So keep those prevention tips in your back pocket... and maybe print off your rights and put them in there too.