Viruses in food and water: Risks, surveillance and control

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What is the Global Status of Access to Safe, Pathogen-Free Drinking Water?

A Norwalk virus infection results in illness 24 to 48 hours after exposure, and symptoms last from hours. It is important to note that there are other organisms such as rotaviruses which also cause viral gastroenteritis. Unlike rotaviruses, Norwalk virus infection is more frequent in older children and adults than in infants and toddlers. Norwalk and Noroviruses are transmitted primarily by the fecal-oral route. Having direct contact with vomit or feces from an infected person and then transferring the virus to the mouth from the hands primarily spreads the viruses.

In some outbreaks, there is evidence that the virus may be spread by the airborne route. These viruses are very contagious and only a few are needed to cause an illness. The disease is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated foods and drinks, or by contact with an infected individual.

Shellfish from waters exposed to raw sewage will concentrate virus particles from the water since they are filter feeders. Contaminated water can also introduce the virus to beverages, ice, eggs, fruits, and salad ingredients. Cooked foods may also be contaminated though handling by an infected individual.

Norwalk Virus | IDPH

Prevention of outbreaks in institutions depends on good food handling practice, and compliance with hand washing on the part of staff. Staff who display symptoms of nausea, diarrhea or vomiting must be excluded from work, and should not return to work until 48 hours after these symptoms subside. Hospitals and nursing homes also maintain surveillance for clusters of gastroenteritis, so that more stringent precautions may be taken if there is evidence of transmission within the facility. Healthcare professionals who take care of patients with symptoms of Norwalk virus should wear a gown and gloves.

Special attention to handwashing with soap must be practiced by everyone. Patient movement through the hospital should be minimized. Immunity to Norwalk and Noroviruses is strain-specific and temporary, so everyone should take precautions to prevent the spread of Norwalk virus to others. Sometimes, however, hepatitis A infection results in a severe illness that lasts several months. Getting a hepatitis A vaccine or an injection of immunoglobulin an antibody within two weeks of exposure to hepatitis A may protect you from infection.

Ask your doctor or your local health department about receiving the hepatitis A vaccine if:. Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that infects liver cells and causes inflammation.


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The inflammation can affect how your liver works and cause other signs and symptoms of hepatitis A. The virus most commonly spreads when you eat or drink something contaminated with fecal matter, even just tiny amounts. It does not spread through sneezing or coughing. Unlike other types of viral hepatitis, hepatitis A does not cause long-term liver damage, and it doesn't become chronic. In rare cases, hepatitis A can cause a sudden loss of liver function, especially in older adults or people with chronic liver diseases.

Airborne Diseases

Acute liver failure requires a stay in the hospital for monitoring and treatment. Some people with acute liver failure may need a liver transplant. The hepatitis A vaccine can prevent infection with the virus. The vaccine is typically given in two shots. The first one is followed by a booster shot six months later.

2. What are the symptoms of hepatitis infection?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a hepatitis A vaccine for the following people:. If you're traveling to parts of the world where hepatitis A outbreaks occur, take these steps to prevent infection:. Thoroughly wash your hands often, especially after using the toilet or changing a diaper and before preparing food or eating.


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Liquor glasses are potential disease carriers

Viruses in Food and Water - Risks, Surveillance and Control Details Viruses can be highly infectious and are capable of causing widespread disease outbreaks. The significance of viral pathogens in food and waterborne illness is increasingly being recognised and viruses transferred by these routes are important areas of research. This book reviews the risks, surveillance and control of food and waterborne viral disease. Part one provides an introduction to food and environmental virology.

Part two goes on to explore methods of detection, surveillance and risk assessment of viruses in food and water; it includes chapters on molecular detection of viruses in foods and food processing environments, quality control in the analytical laboratory, and quantitative risk assessment for food and waterborne viruses.

Hepatitis E Virus and Food

Part three focuses on virus transmission routes and control of food and water contamination. It contains chapters on fresh produce, shellfish and viral presence, and control methods in waste water and sewage.


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Finally, part four highlights particular pathogens including norovirus, hepatitis A and emerging zoonotic viruses. Show less. View More. Back to Table of Contents. New in Food Science. Carbohydrate Chemistry for Food Scientists 3rd Edition BeMiller, James N.