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Name That Bug!

Updated: Jun 17, 2021

Pathogens, or “bugs” such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi can contaminate our food. Pathogens can make us sick when we eat them or can produce toxins that will make us sick. See if you can identify this bug:

• I am a virus and not affected by treatment with antibiotics

• I am very contagious

• I am easily transmitted from person to person through the fecal-oral route due to infected food handlers who either do not wash their hands or wash their hands improperly after using the bathroom

• I am found in some municipal water supplies, recreational lakes, swimming pools, wells, or even water stored on cruise ships

• I am found in raw (or improperly steamed) shellfish, especially clams and oysters

• You can pick me up off of surfaces (touching an infected doorknob and then placing hands in mouth)

• Both stool and vomit are very infectious

• I attack quickly and people feel suddenly very sick

• My symptoms usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramping and last 24 – 60 hours • I have the ability to create large outbreaks

• A little bit of me goes a long way Who am I?

Photo courtesy of NC University - Virology Department

Yep! Norovirus. The number one outbreak in the United States. And what is the best defense? Proper handwashing!


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