Federal and state health officials report investigating a multistate outbreak of norovirus illnesses linked to raw oysters from Texas.
As of December 15, 211 illnesses have been reported in eight states: Alabama (AL), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Louisiana (LA), Mississippi (MS) North Carolina (NC), Tennessee (TN), Texas (TX).
The FDA has confirmed that raw oysters harvested in area TX 1, Galveston Bay, Texas were potentially contaminated with norovirus and distributed to restaurants and retailers in the eight states.
Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness in the United States. Each year, there are about 2,500 reported norovirus outbreaks in the United States. Norovirus outbreaks occur throughout the year but are most common from November to April.
Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.
The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills,headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.
Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food and water, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.
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