A foodborne outbreak earlier this month that sickened dozens of schoolchildren and nursery school staff  has been identified as caused by norovirus, according to a Japan Today report.


The outbreak which occurred between June 6 to 9, caused 41 kindergarteners and two nursery school teachers at Yoyogi Nursery School to experience symptoms of fever, vomiting and diarrhea.

The investigation revealed that 35 stool samples tested positive for the norovirus. In addition, a common food source of deep fried chicken, meat and potato stew, and potato salad was served on June 6.

Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritisstomach 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.

There are more than 150 norovirus-like illness outbreaks per year in Michigan. Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually in the US, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.